Six teams will take part in the 2012 USASA Region I Open Cup tournament with three entries into the 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on the line in addition to a spot in the USASA National Finals. This year marks the first time in the Modern Pro Era (1995-present) that one of the four USASA regions will submit more than two teams.
In January, the United States Soccer Federation announced the numbers of USASA entries in 2012 would increase from eight to nine, and the USASA decided the ninth team would come from Region I due to the fact that more teams attempt to qualify for the Open Cup from the Northeast than the rest of the regions.
The tournament, which will begin April 1, will feature six teams from six different state associations: Metro DC/Virginia, Eastern New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey. The traditional bracket will feature three rounds with Maryland and New Jersey’s state champions receiving byes to the semifinals. How the two byes were determined is unknown at this time.
Already qualified for the Region I tournament are NY Greek American Atlas (East NY), Maryland Bays (MD), West Chester United Predators (East PA) and Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks.
Regular Open Cup qualification contender Aegean Hawks will host the Predators, first-time Eastern PA title holders, in one of the two First Round contests scheduled for April 1. The winner will advance to the semifinals to face the Maryland Bays, who defeated Charm City FC in the Maryland final. The semifinals are set for April 22.
The other First Round contest will feature the four-time US Open Cup champion NY Greek American Atlas (1967, 1968, 1969, 1974) playing host to the yet-to-be-determined champion from Massachusetts. The winner of that contest will move on to the semifinals to play against the champion from New Jersey.
The Bay State is scheduled to crown a champion on Saturday, March 24 when Mass Premier Soccer squares off with the Battery Park Gunners. Also on March 24, New Jersey’s Open Cup final will pit Go Soccer FC against Jersey Shore Boca.
The two teams who fall short in the semifinals will play each other in a third place match on April 29 to determine the remaining US Open Cup berth.
UPDATE: Jersey Shore Boca captured the New Jersey state title, 5-4 in penalties, after a 1-1 draw and Battery Park Gunners captured the Massachusetts championship with a 2-1 victory.
2012 USASA Region I Open Cup tournament
Round 1 (April 1)
Game 1: Battery Park Gunners (Mass.) at NY Greek American Atlas (East NY)
Game 2: West Chester United Predators (East PA) at Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks (DC/VA)
Semifinals (April 22)
Jersey Shore Boca (NJ) at Game 1 winner
Maryland Bays (MD) at Game 2 winner
Semifinal winners qualify for 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
Third Place Game (April 29)
Semifinal loser vs. Semifinal loser
Winner qualifies for 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup