2017 US Open Cup First Round pairings unveiled with potential Round 2 matchups

Posted by | April 12, 2017
The 99 entries of the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Graphic by: Gilberto Hernandez (Twitter: @GilbertoHdz200)

The 99 entries of the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Graphic by: Gilberto Hernandez (Twitter: @GilbertoHdz200)

The United States Soccer Federation announced the First Round pairings for the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup today. The opening round of the 104th edition of the tournament will kick off on May 9 and 10 with a record 56 amateur clubs squaring off with teams from the professional ranks waiting for them in Round 2. The First Round features 21 Premier Development League (PDL) teams, 18 from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and 17 Open Division sides with teams divided up into geographic groups to minimize travel.

The opening match will be played on Tuesday, May 9 with a South Florida match between Red Force FC and the South Florida Surf at Tropical Park in Miami. The following day, 27 matches will take place across the country.

Teams advancing to Round 2 will play against professional opposition from one of the 18 United Soccer League teams or one of the six North American Soccer League teams. The games will be contested on either May 16 or 17.

According to US Soccer, home-field for each match was “determined by a random selection process among those clubs that have applied to host and whose venues meet the minimum tournament requirements.”

After some speculation, it was announced earlier this month that the 2017 Open Cup winner would indeed participate in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions’ League. For the next two years, only the US Open Cup and MLS Cup winners will earn qualification, nearly doubling the importance of this year’s competition.

2016-usoc-logo-724-wideAnother detail from the federation is that the following pairs of teams will not be allowed to face each other until the Final due to their relationships with each other. Examples they site include “a non-professional Open Division team and a parent club; a team who receives material technical support from another club. These pairings are: Jacksonville Armada (NASL) and Jacksonville Armada U-23 (NPSL); OKC Energy (USL) and OKC Energy U23 (PDL); San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) and Reno 1868 FC (USL); Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) and Sounders FC U-23 (PDL).

FC Dallas, last year’s Open Cup champion will not enter the tournament until the rest of the Major League Soccer clubs enter in Round 4, which is scheduled for June 14. In total, 99 teams will take part in this year’s tournament, a record for the Modern Era (1995-present).

Some Interesting First Round Matchups:

Chattanooga FC (NPSL) at Charlotte Eagles (PDL)
The only NPSL team in history to advance in the Open Cup against a pro side faces a difficult Round One challenge, as the Charlotte Eagles have a long history in the tournament. However, this is just the second time that the Eagles have qualified since moving from the USL to the PDL.

AFC Cleveland (NPSL) at Des Moines Menace (PDL)
Last season’s NPSL champion AFC Cleveland travels to the well-supported and long-standing PDL powerhouse Des Moines Menace, who have upset seven professional teams in their Open Cup history (second-most among all amateur clubs).

La Maquina (USASA) at Fresno Fuego (PDL)
Last year’s Open Cup darlings La Maquina begins their 2017 US Open Cup run in the home stadium of ambitious club Fresno Fuego, another of the better-attended teams in US amateur soccer. Fresno hasn’t qualified since 2014 and has only made the tournament three times in its club history, but have upset three pro teams in those three cup runs.

GPS Omens (USASA) at GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL)
A pair of teams from the Global Premier Soccer organization will square off in Maine. This marks just the fifth time in the tournament’s history that an Open Cup game will take place in Maine. This is rematch from the 2013 tournament when GPS Omens was called Mass Premier Soccer, and the Phoenix were victorious by the score of 2-0. It remains Portland’s only US Open Cup victory in five games.

AFC Ann Arbor (NPSL) at Michigan Bucks (PDL) 
The Michigan Bucks will host just the ninth indoor game in US Open Cup history when they host AFC Ann Arbor. Geographic pairings often set up in-state games like this and this one features a first-time club against the team with the best resume of any amateur club. The Bucks, the defending PDL champions, hold the Modern Era record for amateur team wins (13), pro team upsets (9) and are the only amateur team with two wins over MLS teams (New England in 2000, Chicago in 2012). They will take on the first-ever Ann Arbor-based club to ever qualify for the tournament.

San Diego Zest (PDL) at LA Wolves FC (USASA)
Sure to get plenty of attention is the Wolves’ new head coach, former US international Eric Wynalda. The Hall of Famer has proven that he can take lower division clubs and pull off upsets (Cal FC in 2012, Atlanta Silverbacks in 2014). Wynalda’s Wolves will host the San Diego Zest, a first-time entry from the PDL in their opening match.

Road trip!

The draw is made with an effort to minimize travel. The federation sorts teams in regional groups and performs the draw. However, they are at the mercy of the teams that qualify and there’s always a team or two that has to make a long trip. The team that has to make the longest trip is USSSA club Colorado Rush who will make a nearly 900-mile trip to Arizona to take on the PDL’s FC Tucson.

The shortest trip? Burlingame Dragons of the PDL who will make a roughly 15-mile trip to San Francisco to take on El Farolito, a team that won the 1993 US Open Cup title under the name CD Mexico.

2017 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP SCHEDULE

First Round

Date Game Time Venue
May 9 Red Force FC (Fla.) vs. South Florida Surf (PDL) 8:30 p.m. ET Tropical Park; Miami, Fla.
May 10 Fredericksburg FC (NPSL) vs. Christos FC (Md.) 5 p.m. ET Univ. of Mary Washington Battleground Stadium; Fredericksburg, Va.
May 10 Atlanta Silverbacks (NPSL) vs. SC United Bantams (PDL) 5 p.m. ET Atlanta Silverbacks Park; Atlanta, Ga.
May 10 El Farolito (Calif.) vs. Burlingame Dragons FC (PDL) 3 p.m. PT Boxer Stadium; San Francisco, Calif.
May 10 GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL) vs. GPS Omens (Mass.) 7 p.m. ET Memorial Field; Portland, Maine
May 10 Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) vs. Boston City FC (NPSL) 7 p.m. ET Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.
May 10 New Jersey Copa FC (NPSL) vs. FC Motown (N.J.) 7 p.m. ET Saint John Vianney High School; Holmdel, N.J.
May 10 Charlotte Eagles (PDL) vs. Chattanooga FC (NPSL) 7 p.m. ET Charlotte Christian School; Charlotte, N.C.
May 10 Carolina Dynamo (PDL) vs. Legacy 76 (NPSL) 7 p.m. ET Macpherson Stadium; Greensboro, N.C.
May 10 Miami United FC (NPSL) vs. Boca Raton Football Club (Fla.) 7 p.m. ET Ted Hendricks Stadium; Hialeah, Fla.
May 10 Jacksonville Armada U-23 (NPSL) vs. The Villages SC (PDL) 7 p.m. ET Patton Park; Jacksonville, Fla.
May 10 Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL) vs. Junior Lone Star FC (Pa.) 7:30 p.m. ET Carey Stadium; Ocean City, N.J.
May 10 Reading United AC (PDL) vs. Clarkstown SC Eagles (NPSL) 7:30 p.m. ET Exeter Township Senior High School; Reading, Pa.
May 10 Michigan Bucks (PDL) vs. AFC Ann Arbor (NPSL) 7:30 p.m. ET Ultimate Soccer Arenas; Pontiac, Mich.
May 10 Derby City Rovers (PDL) vs. Tartan Devils Oak Avalon (Pa.) 7:30 p.m. ET Woehrle Athletic Complex; Jeffersonville, Ind.
May 10 Chicago FC United (PDL) vs. Grand Rapids FC (NPSL) 7 p.m. CT Martin Stadium (Northwestern Univ.); Evanston, Ill.
May 10 Dutch Lions FC (NPSL) vs. NTX Rayados (Texas) 7 p.m. CT Dutch Lions FC Soccer Facility; Conroe, Texas
May 10 FC Wichita (NPSL) vs. Azteca FC (Colo.) 7 p.m. CT Stryker Soccer Compex; Wichita, Kan.
May 10 Des Moines Menace (PDL) vs. AFC Cleveland (NPSL) 7:30 p.m. CT Valley Stadium; West Des Moines, Iowa
May 10 Tulsa Athletic (NPSL) vs. Oklahoma City Energy U23 (PDL) 7:30 p.m. CT Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium; Tulsa, Okla.
May 10 Sonoma County Sol (NPSL) vs. Anahuac FC (Nev.) 7 p.m. PT Casa Grande High School; Petaluma, Calif.
May 10 Albion SC Pros (NPSL) vs. Chula Vista FC (Calif.) 7 p.m. PT Mission Bay High School; San Diego, Calif.
May 10 FC Golden State Force (PDL) vs. Outbreak FC (Calif.) 7 p.m. PT Citrus College; Glendora, Calif.
May 10 Fresno Fuego (PDL) vs. La Máquina FC (Calif.) 7 p.m. PT Chukchansi Park; Fresno, Calif.
May 10 Ventura County Fusion (PDL) vs. Moreno Valley Fútbol Club (Calif.) 7 p.m. PT Ventura College Sportsplex; Ventura, Calif.
May 10 FC Tucson (PDL) vs. Colorado Rush (Colo.) 7:30 p.m. MST Kino North Stadium; Tucson, Ariz.
May 10 OSA FC (NPSL) vs. Sounders FC U-23 (PDL) 7:30 p.m. PT Seattle High School Memorial Stadium; Seattle, Wash.
May 10 L.A. Wolves FC (Calif.) vs. San Diego Zest (PDL) 7:30 p.m. PT Bell Gardens John Anson Ford Park; Bell Gardens, Calif.

Second Round

Date Game Time Venue
May 16 Red Force FC (Fla.) vs. Miami FC (NASL) 8:30 p.m. ET Tropical Park; Miami, Fla.
   -or-
May 17 South Florida Surf (PDL) vs. Miami FC (NASL) TBD Home Team TBD
May 17 Fredericksburg FC (NPSL) vs. Richmond Kickers (USL) 5 p.m. ET Univ. of Mary Washington Battleground Stadium; Fredericksburg, Va.
   -or-
May 17 Richmond Kickers (USL) vs. Christos FC (Md.) 7 p.m. ET City Stadium; Richmond, Va.
May 17 Atlanta Silverbacks (NPSL) vs. Charleston Battery (USL) 5 p.m. ET Atlanta Silverbacks Park; Atlanta, Ga.
   -or-
May 17 Charleston Battery (USL) vs. SC United Bantams (PDL) 7 p.m. ET MUSC Health Stadium; Charleston, S.C.
May 17 Rochester Rhinos (USL) vs. FC Motown (N.J.)/New Jersey Copa FC (NPSL) winner 7 p.m. ET Capelli Sport Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.
May 17 Boston City FC (NPSL) vs. GPS Omens (Mass.)/GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL) winner 7 p.m. ET Brother Gilbert Stadium; Malden, Mass.
   -or-
May 17 Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) vs. GPS Omens (Mass.)/GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL) winner 7 p.m. ET Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.
May 17 Miami United FC (NPSL) vs. Jacksonville Armada (NASL) 7 p.m. ET Ted Hendricks Stadium; Hialeah, Fla.
   -or-
May 17 Jacksonville Armada (NASL) vs. Boca Raton Football Club (Fla.) 7 p.m. ET Southern Oak Stadium (Jacksonville Univ.); Jacksonville, Fla.
May 17 Carolina Dynamo (PDL) vs. North Carolina FC (NASL) 7 p.m. ET Macpherson Stadium; Greensboro, N.C.
   -or-
May 17 Legacy 76 (NPSL) vs. North Carolina FC (NASL) 7 p.m. ET Wanner Stadium; Williamsburg, Va.
May 17 Charlotte Eagles (PDL) vs. Charlotte Independence (USL) 7 p.m. ET Charlotte Christian School; Charlotte, N.C.
   -or-
May 17 Chattanooga FC (NPSL) vs. Charlotte Independence (USL) 7:30 p.m. ET Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.
May 17 AFC Ann Arbor (NPSL) vs. Indy Eleven (NASL) 7 p.m. ET Scicluna Field (Eastern Michigan Univ.); Ypsilanti, Mich.
   -or-
May 17 Michigan Bucks (PDL) vs. Indy Eleven (NASL) 7:30 p.m. ET Ultimate Soccer Arenas; Pontiac, Mich.
May 17 Tartan Devils Oak Avalon (Pa.) vs. Louisville City FC (USL) 7 p.m. ET Rooney Field; Pittsburgh, Pa.
   -or-
May 17 Louisville City FC (USL) vs. Derby City Rovers (PDL) 7:30 p.m. ET Woehrle Athletic Complex; Jeffersonville, Ind.
May 17 New York Cosmos (NASL) vs. Clarkstown SC Eagles (NPSL) 7 p.m. ET Rocco B. Commisso Stadium; New York, N.Y.
   -or-
May 17 Reading United AC (PDL) vs. New York Cosmos (NASL) 7:30 p.m. ET Exeter Township Senior High School; Reading, Pa.
May 17 FC Cincinnati (USL) vs. AFC Cleveland (NPSL) 7 p.m. ET Nippert Stadium (Univ. of Cincinnati); Cincinnati, Ohio
   -or-
May 17 Des Moines Menace (PDL) vs. FC Cincinnati (USL) 7:30 p.m. CT Valley Stadium; West Des Moines, Iowa
May 17 Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL) vs. The Villages SC (PDL)/Jacksonville Armada U-23 (NPSL) winner 7:30 p.m. ET Al Lang Stadium; St. Petersburg, Fla.
May 17 Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) 7:30 p.m. ET Carey Stadium; Ocean City, N.J.
   -or-
May 17 Junior Lone Star FC (Pa.) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) TBD Home Team TBD
May 17 Grand Rapids FC (NPSL) vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) 7:30 p.m. ET Pat Patterson Field (Crestwood Middle School); Kentwood, Mich.
   -or-
May 17 Chicago FC United (PDL) vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) 7 p.m. CT Martin Stadium (Northwestern Univ.); Evanston, Ill.
May 17 FC Wichita (NPSL) vs. Saint Louis FC (USL) 7 p.m. CT Stryker Soccer Compex; Wichita, Kan.
   -or-
May 17 Saint Louis FC (USL) vs. Azteca FC (Colo.) 7 p.m. CT WWT Soccer Park; Fenton, Mo.
May 17 Dutch Lions FC (NPSL) vs. San Antonio FC (USL) 7 p.m. CT Dutch Lions FC Soccer Facility; Conroe, Texas
   -or-
May 17 San Antonio FC (USL) vs. NTX Rayados (Texas) 7:30 p.m. CT Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas
May 17 Tulsa Roughnecks FC (USL) vs. Oklahoma City Energy U23 (PDL) 7 p.m. CT Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium; Tulsa, Okla.
   -or-
May 17 Tulsa Athletic (NPSL) vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC (USL) 7:30 p.m. CT Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium; Tulsa, Okla.
May 17 OKC Energy FC (USL) vs. Moreno Valley Fútbol Club (Calif.) 7 p.m. CT Taft Stadium; Oklahoma City, Okla.
   -or-
May 17 Ventura County Fusion (PDL) vs. OKC Energy FC (USL) 7 p.m. PT Ventura College Sportsplex; Ventura, Calif.
May 17 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USL) vs. Colorado Rush (Colo.)/FC Tucson (PDL) winner 6 p.m. MT Weidner Field; Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 17 Fresno Fuego (PDL) vs. Phoenix Rising FC (USL) 7 p.m. PT Fresno State Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium; Fresno, Calif.
   -or-
May 17 La Máquina FC (Calif.) vs. Phoenix Rising FC (USL) 7 p.m. PT Santa Ana Stadium; Santa Ana, Calif.
May 17 FC Golden State Force (PDL) vs. Orange County SC (USL) 7 p.m. PT Citrus College; Glendora, Calif.
   -or-
May 17 Outbreak FC (Calif.) vs. Orange County SC (USL) 7 p.m. PT Long Beach State Univ.; Long Beach, Calif.
May 17 Albion SC Pros (NPSL) vs. San Diego Zest (PDL) 7 p.m. PT Mission Bay High School; San Diego, Calif.
   -or-
May 17 Chula Vista FC (Calif.) vs. San Diego Zest (PDL) 7 p.m. PT Eastlake High School; Chula Vista, Calif.
   -or-
May 17 L.A. Wolves FC (Calif.) vs. Chula Vista FC (Calif.)/Albion SC Pros (NPSL) winner 7:30 p.m. PT Bell Gardens John Anson Ford Park; Bell Gardens, Calif.
May 17 Sacramento Republic FC (USL) vs. Anahuac FC (Nev.)/Sonoma County Sol (NPSL) winner 7:30 p.m. PT Papa Murphy’s Park; Sacramento, Calif.
May 17 San Francisco Deltas (NASL) vs. Burlingame Dragons FC (PDL)/El Farolito (Calif.) winner 7:30 p.m. PT Stanford University; Stanford, Calif.
May 17 OSA FC (NPSL) vs. Reno 1868 FC (USL) 7:30 p.m. PT Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.
   -or-
May 17 Sounders FC U-23 (PDL) vs. Reno 1868 FC (USL) 7:30 p.m. PT Sunset Stadium (Sumner H.S.); Sumner, Wash.

First Round                  May 9-10 (PDL, NPSL, Open Division clubs enter)
Second Round             May 16-17 (NASL and USL clubs enter)
Third Round                 May 31 (Winners of 26 Second Round games play each other)
Fourth Round               June 14* (Major League Soccer clubs enter)
Round of 16                 June 28* (matches determined by Round of 16 Draw on June 15)
Quarterfinals                July 11 (window of July 7-16 available for consideration)
Semifinals                    Aug. 9*
Final                             Sept. 20

* Games in this round may be moved up a day

2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Participating Teams

Division I and II Professional Teams Eligible to Participate (43 total):

Division I (19 teams, entering in the Fourth Round) – Major League Soccer: Atlanta United FC, Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United FC, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City

Division II (24 teams, entering in the Second Round) – North American Soccer League (6): Indy Eleven, Jacksonville Armada, Miami FC, New York Cosmos, North Carolina FC (formerly Carolina RailHawks), San Francisco Deltas; United Soccer League (18 teams): Charleston Battery, Charlotte Independence, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, FC Cincinnati, Harrisburg City Islanders, Louisville City FC, OKC Energy FC, Orange County SC (formerly Orange County Blues), Phoenix Rising FC (formerly Arizona United), Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Reno 1868 FC, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Sacramento Republic FC, Saint Louis FC, San Antonio FC, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Tulsa Roughnecks FC

Open Division Teams (56 total, entering in the First Round):

Local Qualifiers (17 teams, listed alphabetically by state): California (6): Chula Vista FC, El Farolito, La Máquina*, LA Wolves FC*, Moreno Valley Fútbol Club, Outbreak FC*; Colorado (2): Azteca FC, Colorado Rush; Florida (2): Boca Raton Football Club*, Red Force FC; Maryland (1): Christos FC; Massachusetts (1): GPS Omens; Nevada (1): Anahuac FC; New Jersey (1): FC Motown; Pennsylvania (2): Junior Lone Star FC, Tartan Devils Oak Avalon; Texas (1): NTX Rayados

Premier Development League (21 teams): Division Winners: Charlotte Eagles* (N.C.), Des Moines Menace* (Iowa), FC Tucson* (Ariz.), Fresno Fuego (Calif.), GPS Portland Phoenix* (Maine), Michigan Bucks*, OKC Energy U23 (Okla.), Reading United AC* (Pa.), The Villages SC* (Fla.); At-Large Berths: Burlingame Dragons* (Calif.), Carolina Dynamo (N.C.), Chicago FC United (formerly Chicago Fire U-23), Derby City Rovers (Ky.), FC Golden State Force (Calif.), Ocean City Nor’easters (N.J.), San Diego Zest (Calif.), SC United Bantams (S.C.), Sounders FC U-23* (Wash.), South Florida Surf, Ventura County Fusion* (Calif.), Western Mass Pioneers. The PDL is a nationwide league affiliated with the U.S. Adult Soccer Association and opted to use 2016 league results to determine its qualifiers for the 2017 Open Cup.

National Premier Soccer League (18 teams): Qualified via 2016 NPSL playoffs: AFC Cleveland* (Ohio), Albion SC Pros (Calif.), Chattanooga FC* (Tenn.), Clarkstown SC Eagles* (N.Y.), Grand Rapids FC (Mich.), Miami United FC (Fla.), New Jersey Copa FC (N.J.), Sonoma County Sol (Calif.); At-Large Berths: AFC Ann Arbor (Mich.), Atlanta Silverbacks*, Boston City FC (Mass.), Dutch Lions FC (Texas), FC Wichita* (Kan.), Fredericksburg FC* (Va.), Jacksonville Armada U-23 (Fla.), Legacy 76 (Va.), OSA FC (Wash.) Tulsa Athletic (Okla). The NPSL is a nationwide league affiliated with the U.S. Adult Soccer Association and opted to use 2016 league results to determine its qualifiers for the 2017 Open Cup.

* Participated in 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup