2018 US Open Cup qualifying draw unveiled with record number of amateur teams

  • 1
  • August 29, 2017
Phil Saunders of Christos FC made seven saves in a 1-0 road win over the Richmond Kickers (USL). Photo: Jessica Hendricks | Richmond Kickers

Phil Saunders of Christos FC made seven saves in a 1-0 road win over the Richmond Kickers (USL). Photo: Jessica Hendricks | Richmond Kickers

The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) announced that 108 amateur clubs from 35 different leagues have entered the qualifying tournament for the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. This breaks the record set last year when 64 teams entered.

This is the third year in a row that the federation has utilized a single qualifying tournament for all amateur clubs that are not part of a national league. Prior to 2016, amateur teams that did not belong to the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) or the Premier Development League (PDL) had to enter a state or regional qualifying tournament organized by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). Ahead of the 2016 US Open Cup, the USSF announced that they would take control of the amateur qualifying process and launched a single-elimination tournament open to all teams from across the country.

The draw for the opening round of the tournament was announced on Tuesday night with 102 teams taking part and four teams receiving byes into Round 2.

Earlier this year, underdogs Christos FC of Baltimore earned nationwide attention when they advanced from the local qualifying group of 64 teams to the full US Open Cup. Their run continued as they became just the 13th amateur club in the Modern Era (1995-present) to reach the Fourth Round where they gave MLS side D.C. United a run for their money before falling, 4-1. They earned a $15,000 cash prize for the amateur team that advanced the furthest in the competition. Christos FC are back for 2018 (they will face Open Cup regulars Aegean Hawks FC in Round 1) along with 107 other teams hoping to be this year’s underdog story.

This part of the competition, otherwise known as Open Division Local Qualifying, will start the weekend of Sept. 23-24. Teams entering in the first qualifying round must win three straight matches to enter the first official round of the US Open Cup which will start in the spring of 2018. Draws were assigned to minimize travel time and cost, ensuring most teams will play against other local competition. Where possible, for example in areas with several local entrants, random selection was used to determine match-ups. Draws will be played as single-game, knockout matches, with home teams selected via a coin flip.

La Maquina (left) vs. LA Wolves in the Third Round of 2016 US Open Cup. Photo: Joe Walsh

La Maquina (left) vs. LA Wolves in the Third Round of 2016 US Open Cup. Photo: Joe Walsh

After each of the three local qualifying rounds, another draw will be held to determine match-ups in the next round. The second local qualifying round is scheduled for Oct. 21-22, and the third is scheduled for Nov. 18-19.

The first qualifying round will be played the weekend after the 2017 Final pitting three-time champion Sporting Kansas City against the New York Red Bulls on Sept. 20.

States with the most teams entering were California (30), Colorado (14), Florida (12), Pennsylvania (9), and Massachusetts (8). Twelve states entered a single team. There will be plenty of new faces as 14 leagues are entering teams for the first time in this edition of the tournament.

Sixty-four teams are entering the competition for the first time and two of them have won the tournament before. El Farolito, who qualified for last year’s tournament won the Open Cup in 1993 under the name CD Mexico while the New York Pancyprian Freedoms have lifted the trophy three times (1980, 1982, 1983).

While 2012 Open Cup darlings Cal FC will not be a part of this year’s competition, there are plenty of regulars who will look to join the 105th edition of the Open Cup. After reaching the Third Round last year, GPS Omens (Mass.) is looking to qualify for the fifth time in six years. One of the oldest clubs in the country, Phoenix SC (Est. 1926 in Philadelphia area) will look to return to the tournament for the first time since 2011. Another pair of historic Philly clubs will square off when Vereinigung Erzgebirge (Est. 1969) take on the United German Hungarians (Est. 1910). Another Philadelphia side, Junior Lone Star made their Open Cup debut last year and this year they will enter two different teams.

Harpo's FC celebrates a league game against FC Denver at Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder, Colo. Photo: Harpo's FC

Harpo’s FC celebrates a league game against FC Denver at Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder, Colo. Photo: Harpo’s FC

The Lansdowne Bhoys made a splash in their Open Cup debut in 2016, upsetting the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on the road, but after missing out in 2017, they will be back for the 2018. The Bhoys, who won the USASA Amateur Cup, will travel to New Jersey to take on first-timers Jackson Lions FC.

The North Texas Rayados have qualified for every US Open Cup since 2012 (although they were disqualified just before the 2016 tournament), and they will be on the road to face Central Texas Lobos. Red Force will represent South Florida after qualifying for the third time in 2017.

Out west, 44 of the 108 (41%) entries are from California (30) and Colorado (14). There are some Colorado teams with some recent experience that are looking to qualify in 2018. Harpo’s FC (2015, 2016) are back after missing out in 2017, and the Colorado Rovers (2013, 2014) are looking to get back after falling short the last few years. The Colorado Rush and Azteca FC, who both made their first appearance in 2017, will look to punch their ticket for the second straight year.

California is littered with talented clubs highlighted by 2016 Cinderella story La Maquina FC, two-time qualifiers Chula Vista FC (2015, 2017) and the LA Wolves FC (2016, 2017) who made a strong showing in their first two Open Cup entries.

2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Open Division Local Qualifying Schedule

First Qualifying Round
(All Times Eastern)
UPDATED Sept. 19

Northeast Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
Sept. 23 Unations FC (Mass.) vs. Safira FC (Mass.) 10 a.m. Burncoat High School; Worcester, Mass.
Sept. 23 Kendall Wanderers (Mass.) vs. Boston Siege FC (Mass.) 12 p.m. Danehy Park; Cambridge, Mass.
Sept. 23 Southie FC (Mass.) vs. Mass United FC (Mass.) 4 p.m. Medford High School; Medford, Mass.
Sept. 23 Salone FC (Pa.) vs. Junior Lone Star U23s (Pa.) 4:30 p.m. West Chester United Turf Field; West Chester, Pa.
Sept. 23 Lynn United (Mass.) vs. GPS Omens (Mass.) 7 p.m. Manning Stadium; Lynn, Mass.
Sept. 23 Carpathia FC (Mich.) vs. Ann Arbor FC (Mich.) 7 p.m. Avondale High School; Auburn Hills, Mich.
Sept. 23 West Chester United (Pa.) vs. Junior Lone Star FC (Pa.) 7:30 p.m. West Chester United Turf Field; West Chester, Pa.
Sept. 23 Aurora Borealis Soccer Club (Ill.) vs. United Serbian Soccer Club (Wis.) 8:30 p.m. Ohio Moose Sports Complex; Mooseheart, Ill.
Sept. 24 New York Pancyprian Freedoms (N.Y.) vs. Newtown Pride FC (Conn.) 12 p.m. Belson Stadium (St. John’s Univ.); Jamaica, N.Y.
Sept. 24 NLS Graduates (Md.) vs. Izee Auto FC (Md.) 1 p.m. Banner Field at Latrobe Park; Baltimore, Md.
Sept. 24 Christos FC (Md.) vs. Aegean Hawks FC (Md.) 1 p.m. Troy Park – Field 4; Elkridge, Md.
Sept. 24 Phoenix Soccer Club (Pa.) vs. Upper Darby (Pa.) 2:30 p.m. Phoenix Sports Club; Trevose, Pa.
Sept. 24 Vereinigung Erzgebirge (Pa.) vs. United German Hungarians (Pa.) 4 p.m. Vereinigung Erzgebirge Clubhouse; Warminster, Pa.
Sept. 24 Tartan Devils Oak Avalon (Pa.) vs. Rochester River Dogz (N.Y.) 4 p.m. Rooney Field (Duquesne Univ.); Pittsburgh, Pa.
Sept. 24 Jackson Lions FC (N.J.) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (N.Y.) 7:30 p.m. Jackson Justice Complex; Jackson, N.J.
Sept. 24 Santa Fe Wanderers KC (Kan.) vs. Stegman’s Soccer Club (Minn.) 8 p.m. Olathe District Activity Center; Olathe, Kan.

Southeast Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
Sept. 23 Central Texas Lobos (Texas) vs. NTX Rayados (Texas) 6 p.m. Gregg-Clarke Park; Kyle, Texas
Sept. 23 Austin Real Cuauhtemoc (Texas) vs. Celtic Cowboys Premier (Texas) 7 p.m. McMasters Athletic Complex; Georgetown, Texas
Sept. 23 Hurricane FC (Fla.) vs. Boca Raton Football Club (Fla.) 7:30 p.m. Seacrest Soccer Complex – Field 1; Delray Beach, Fla.
Sept. 24 FC Ginga (Fla.) vs. Red Force FC (Fla.) 10 a.m. Barry University; Miami Shores, Fla.
Sept. 24 Majestic Soccer Club (Ga.) vs. Lowcountry United (S.C.) 11 a.m. Emory University; Atlanta, Ga.
Sept. 24 South Florida FC (Fla.) vs. Miami United FC U23 (Fla.) 6 p.m. Brian Piccolo Park; Cooper City, Fla.
Sept. 24 Orlando Storm (Fla.) vs. InterUnited AC (Fla.) 7 p.m. UCF Soccer & Track Complex; Orlando, Fla.
Sept. 24 Gaffa FC (Miss.) vs. Motagua New Orleans (La.) 7 p.m. Freedom Ridge Stadium; Ridgeland, Miss.
Sept. 24 Miami Wolves FC (Fla.) vs. Miami Nacional SC (Fla.) 8 p.m. Flamingo Park; Miami Beach, Fla.
Sept. 24 Leu Blacks FC (Fla.) vs. FC Kendall (Fla.) 8:30 p.m. Tropical Park; Miami, Fla.

First Round Bye: Cajun Soccer Club (La.), Nashville United (Tenn.)

Mountain Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
Sept. 23 Gam United FC (Colo.) vs. FC Denver (Colo.) 6:30 p.m. Aurora Public Schools Stadium; Aurora, Colo.
Sept. 23 Azteca FC (Colo.) vs. Denver Metro FC (Colo.) 9 p.m. Aurora Public Schools Stadium; Aurora, Colo.
Sept. 23 Chiapas FC (Ariz.) vs. Inter EmpireWorks FC (Ariz.) 10 p.m. Desert West Sports Complex – Field 1; Phoenix, Ariz.
Sept. 23 Ojuelos Jalisco (Ariz.) vs. ALLSTARS SC (Ariz.) 10 p.m. Desert West Sports Complex – Synthetic Field; Phoenix, Ariz.
Sept. 24 FC Boulder (Colo.) vs. Harpo’s FC (Colo.) 5 p.m. Fairview High School; Boulder, Colo.
Sept. 24 Colorado Springs FC (Colo.) vs. Colorado Rovers (Colo.) 6:30 p.m. Grace Center for Athletics; Colorado Springs, Colo.
Sept. 24 Indios Denver FC (Colo.) vs. FC Union Jerez (Colo.) 5:45 p.m. Englewood High School Stadium; Englewood, Colo.
Sept. 24 Colorado Rush (Colo.) vs. Club El Azul (Colo.) 7 p.m. Shea Stadium; Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Sept. 24 Fort Collins United (Colo.) vs. FC Greeley (Colo.) 8 p.m. Loveland Sports Park; Loveland, Colo.

First Round Bye: Galati FC (Ariz.), Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.)

Pacific Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
Sept. 23 Davis Legacy SC (Calif.) vs. Western Nevada Futbol Club (Nev.) 8 p.m. Davis Legacy Soccer Complex; Davis, Calif.
Sept. 23 Valley United SC (Calif.) vs. Los Angeles SC (Calif.) 8:30 p.m. Heritage High School; North Hills, Calif.
Sept. 23 Academica Soccer Club (Calif.) vs. Oakland Pamperos (Calif.) 10 p.m. Academica Fields; Turlock, Calif.
Sept. 23 Dynamos FC (Calif.) vs. El Farolito (Calif.) 10 p.m. Dougherty Valley High School; San Ramon, Calif.
Sept. 23 Las Vegas Mobsters FC (Nev.) vs. Pacific Side FC (Calif.) 10 p.m. Kellogg-Zaher Soccer Complex; Las Vegas, Nev.
Sept. 23 Santa Ana Winds FC (Calif.) vs. Outbreak FC (Calif.) 10 p.m. Lake Forest Sports Park; Lake Forest, Calif.
Sept. 23 IPS/Marathon Taverna (Ore.) vs. Boise FC Cutthroats (Idaho) 10 p.m. Rob Strasser Memorial Field; Portland, Ore.
Sept. 23 San Pedro Monsters FC (Calif.) vs. Fontana International SC (Calif.) 10:30 p.m. Banning H.S. Soccer Stadium; Wilmington, Calif.
Sept. 23 Bell Gardens FC (Calif.) vs. La Máquina FC (Calif.) 10:30 p.m. John Anson Ford Park; Bell Gardens, Calif.
Sept. 23 Real San Jose (Calif.) vs. Cal Victory FC (Calif.) 10:30 p.m. PAL Stadium; San Jose, Calif.
Sept. 23 Vanquish FC (Calif.) vs. C.F. Cachorros USA (Calif.) 11 p.m. Great Park, Main Stadium; Irvine, Calif.
Sept. 24/25 UFA Hawks L.A. (Calif.) vs. Santa Clarita Storm (Calif.) 12:30 a.m. (Sept. 25) Salesian High School; Los Angeles, Calif.
Sept. 24 Buena Park FC (Calif.) vs. Newport FC (Calif.) 6 p.m. John F. Kennedy High School; La Palma, Calif.
Sept. 24 SFV Scorpions (Calif.) vs. AC Brea Steaua United (Calif.) 7 p.m. Alemany High School; Mission Hills, Calif.
Sept. 24 Newcastle United FC (Calif.) vs. Del Rey City SC (Calif.) 8 p.m. SilverLakes Sports Complex; Norco, Calif.
Sept. 24 Strikers FC South Coast (Calif.) vs. Chula Vista FC (Calif.) 10 p.m. Lake Forest Sports Park; Lake Forest, Calif.
Sept. 24 L.A. Wolves FC (Calif.) vs. Real Sociedad Royals (Calif.) 10:30 p.m. John Anson Ford Park; Bell Gardens, Calif.

Second Qualifying Round: Oct. 21-22
Third Qualifying Round: Nov. 18-19

2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Open Division Teams Entering via the Local Qualifying Track

Listed by State and League (Sanctioning Body) Affiliation

Arizona (6 teams) 
Arizona Champions League (Arizona State Soccer Assn./USASA)
ALLSTARS SC; Phoenix, Ariz.
Chiapas FC; Phoenix, Ariz.
Galati FC; Phoenix, Ariz.
Ojuelos Jalisco; Phoenix, Ariz.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Inter EmpireWorks FC; Scottsdale, Ariz.
Sporting AZ FC; Scottsdale, Ariz.

California (30) 
LIGA NorCal (US Club Soccer) 

Academica Soccer Club; Turlock, Calif.
Davis Legacy; Davis, Calif.

Los Angeles Municipal League (Calif. State Soccer Assn.-South/USASA) 
Los Angeles SC; Agoura Hills, Calif.

San Francisco Soccer Football League (Calif. Soccer Assn.-North/USASA) 
El Farolito*; San Francisco, Calif.

SoCal Premier League (Calif. State Soccer Assn.-South/USASA)
AC Brea Steaua United; Brea, Calif.
Buena Park FC; La Palma, Calif.
Chula Vista FC*; Chula Vista, Calif.
Outbreak FC*; Long Beach, Calif.
Real Sociedad Royals; Bellflower, Calif.
San Pedro Monsters FC; Wilmington, Calif.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Bell Gardens FC; Bell Gardens, Calif.
C.F. Cachorros USA; Santa Ana, Calif.
Cal Victory FC; Petaluma, Calif.
Del Rey City SC; Culver City, Calif.
Dynamos FC; San Ramon, Calif.
Fontana International Soccer Club; Fontana, Calif.
L.A. Wolves FC*; Bell Gardens, Calif.
La Máquina*; Santa Ana, Calif.
Newcastle United FC; Norco, Calif.
Newport FC; Newport Beach, Calif.
Oakland Pamperos; Oakland, Calif.
Pacific Side FC; Bakersfield, Calif.
Real San Jose; San Jose, Calif.
Santa Ana Winds FC; Lake Forest, Calif.
Santa Clarita Storm; Santa Clarita, Calif.
SFV Scorpions; Mission Hills, Calif.
Strikers FC South Coast; Lake Forest, Calif.
UFA Hawks L.A.; Los Angeles, Calif.
Valley United SC; North Hills, Calif.
Vanquish FC; Irvine, Calif.

Colorado (14) 
Colorado Premier League (U.S. Specialty Sports Assn.)
Azteca FC*; Aurora, Colo.
Colorado Rovers; Broomfield, Colo.
FC Denver; Aurora, Colo.
FC Union Jerez; Broomfield, Colo.
Harpo’s FC; Commerce City, Colo.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Club El Azul; Westminster, Colo.
Colorado Rush*; Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Colorado Springs FC; Colorado Springs, Colo.
Denver Metro FC; Englewood, Colo.
FC Boulder; Boulder, Colo.
FC Greeley; Greeley, Colo.
Fort Collins United; Loveland, Colo.
Gam United FC; Aurora, Colo.
Indios Denver FC; Englewood, Colo.

Connecticut (1) 
Connecticut Soccer League (Conn. State Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Newtown Pride FC; Newtown, Conn.

Florida (12) 
American Premier Soccer League (Florida State Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Boca Raton Football Club*; Pembroke Pines, Fla.
FC Kendall; Miami, Fla.
Hurricane FC; Delray Beach, Fla.
InterUnited AC; Davenport, Fla.
Miami United FC U23; Miami, Fla.
Red Force FC*; Miami, Fla.
South Florida FC; Cooper City, Fla.

Central Florida Soccer League (Florida State Soccer Assn./USASA) 
Orlando Storm; Orlando, Fla.

National Soccer League (U.S. Specialty Sports Assn.)
Miami Nacional SC; Miami Gardens, Fla.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
FC Ginga; Miami Shores, Fla.
Leu Blacks FC; Miami, Fla.
Miami Wolves FC; Miami Beach, Fla.

Georgia (1) 
Atlanta District Amateur Soccer League (Georgia State Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Majestic Soccer Club; Atlanta, Ga.

Idaho (1) 
United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Boise FC Cutthroats; Boise, Idaho

Illinois (1) 
Premier League of America (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.) 

Aurora Borealis Soccer Club; Mooseheart, Ill.

Kansas (1) 
Kansas City Kansas Soccer League (Kansas State Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Santa Fe Wanderers KC; Olathe, Kan.

Louisiana (2) 
Gulf Coast Premier League (Louisiana Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Cajun Soccer Club; Lafayette, La.
Motagua New Orleans; New Orleans, La.

Maryland (4) 
Maryland Major Soccer League (Md. State Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Christos FC*; Elkridge, Md.
Izee Auto FC; Baltimore, Md.
NLS Graduates; Baltimore, Md.

Washington Premier League (Md. State Soccer Assn./USASA)
Aegean Hawks FC; Boyds, Md.

Massachusetts (8) 
American Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.) 

Mass United FC; Sommerville, Mass.

Bay State Soccer League (Mass. Adult State Soccer Assn./USASA) 
Global Premier Soccer (GPS) Omens*; Boston, Mass.
Kendall Wanderers; Cambridge, Mass.
Southie FC; Medford, Mass.
Unations FC; Worcester, Mass.

New England Over-The-Hill Soccer League (Mass. Adult State Soccer Assn./USASA) 
Safira FC; Sommerville, Mass.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Boston Siege FC; Boston, Mass.
Lynn United; Lynn, Mass.

Michigan (2) 
Ann Arbor Premier Development League (Michigan Soccer Association/USASA) 

Ann Arbor FC; Ann Arbor, Mich.

Premier League of America (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Carpathia FC; Auburn Hills, Mich.

Minnesota (1) 
Minnesota Amateur Soccer League (Minnesota Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Stegman’s Soccer Club; Minneapolis, Minn.

Mississippi (1) 
Gulf Coast Premier League (Louisiana Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Gaffa FC; Ridgeland, Miss.

Nevada (2) 
United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Las Vegas Mobsters FC; Las Vegas, Nev.
Western Nevada Futbol Club; Sparks, Nev.

New Jersey (1) 
Garden State Soccer League (New Jersey Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Jackson Lions FC; Jackson, N.J.

New York (3) 
Cosmopolitan Soccer League (Eastern New Youth State Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Lansdowne Bhoys FC; Yonkers, N.Y.
New York Pancyprian Freedoms^; Jamaica, N.Y.

Rochester District Soccer League (Western New Youth Soccer Assn./USASA) 
Rochester River Dogz; Spencerport, N.Y.

Oregon (1) 
Oregon Premier Soccer League (Oregon Adult Soccer Assn./USASA) 

International Portland Select (IPS)/Marathon Taverna; Portland, Ore.

Pennsylvania (9) 
Greater Pittsburgh Soccer League (Pa. West Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Tartan Devils Oak Avalon*; Pittsburgh, Pa.

Philadelphia Premier Soccer League (Eastern Pa. Soccer Assn./USASA) 
Junior Lone Star FC*; Drexel Hill, Pa.
Junior Lone Star U23s; Drexel Hill, Pa.
Salone FC; Drexel Hill, Pa.
Upper Darby FC; Drexel Hill, Pa.

United Soccer League of Pennsylvania (Eastern Pa. Soccer Assn./USASA) 
Phoenix Soccer Club; Trevose, Pa.
United German Hungarians; Oakford, Pa.
Vereinigung Erzgebirge; Warminster, Pa.
West Chester United; West Chester, Pa.

South Carolina (1) 
Charleston Soccer League (South Carolina Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Lowcountry United; Charleston, S.C.

Tennessee (1) 
Middle Tennessee Soccer Alliance (Tennessee State Soccer Assn./USASA) 

Nashville United; Nashville, Tenn.

Texas (4) 
Austin Men’s Soccer Association (U.S. Specialty Sports Assn.) 

Celtic Cowboys Premier; Austin, Texas
Central Texas Lobos; Kyle, Texas

North Texas Premier Soccer Association (North Texas Soccer Assn./USASA) 
NTX Rayados*; Balch Springs, Texas

Texas Premier League (US Club Soccer)
Austin Real Cuauhtemoc; Georgetown, Texas

Wisconsin (1) 
Wisconsin Soccer League (Wisconsin Soccer Leagues/USASA) 

United Serbian Soccer Club; Milwaukee, Wis.

* Advanced to 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
^ Three-time U.S. Open Cup Champion (1980, 1982-83)