2014 US Open Cup to feature largest tournament field, extra round, weekend gameday

Posted by | April 24, 2014

UPDATE: Corinthians defeated Juventus Black 5-0 in the US Club Soccer Open Cup final to qualify for the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. They are the 80th team to qualify and will face the NPSL’s San Diego Flash in the opening round.

UPDATE (5/7): Corinthians forfeited their opening round game vs. San Diego Flash

The 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup will feature more changes from the previous year as the tournament enters its 101st year. The US Soccer Federation has revealed this year’s tournament format and draw and it will feature three major changes.

First the number of Division IV amateur teams will be increased from 34 to 42, combined with new professional teams bringing the total number of teams to 80, the most the tournament has had in the Modern Professional Era (1995-present). To accomodate the increase in teams, the federation has added an additional round. The competition will feature eight rounds to decide the United States champion and an entry in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League, which according to TheCup.us records, is the most in the history of the tournament.

By virtue of the additional round, Major League Soccer will now begin play in Round 4, after entering in the third round every year since 2002. When the United States’ top division enters, that round has the potential to hold a weekend date (June 10-18) for the first time in the Modern Professional Era due to the league’s break for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Another minor detail of the 2014 US Open Cup draw is the record number of games that will take place in Round 2. With 24 matches on the schedule, it marks the busiest round since 1995 and according to TheCup.us records, the most games in a round in at least three decades.

As they have in recent years, the federation has determined the draw based on geography, in an attempt to minimize travel costs. Any teams who are not located in close proximity to another team will have their opponent determined by a random draw. Also, affiliated teams (Portland Timbers U23s / Portland Timbers MLS, for example) will be kept apart until the final. To determine the host teams for each game, the federation will continue to set minimum venue standards and if both teams are interested in hosting, and they both meet those standards, then a coin flip will determine the host team.

The US Open Cup will crown a champion for the 101st consecutive year, making the competition the second-oldest continually-running cup competition in the world. The Irish Cup was the country of Ireland’s cup competition beginning in 1881, but when the country split in 1921, the Irish Cup remained Northern Ireland’s national cup competition and continues to operate to this day. That competition is the only tournament that predates the US championship.

The winner of the tournament will receive $250,000 and is expected to receive a berth in the 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League, although the format for that tournament has yet to be officially announced. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will get $15,000.

GolTV holds the television rights to the US Open Cup final, which is scheduled for either Sep. 30 or Oct. 1. This is the final year of their three-year contract which began in 2012.

Here is the complete schedule with deadlines:

Round 1 (May 7): 16 amateur clubs (8 games)

Round 2 (May 14): 8 First Round winners + 26 remaining amateur clubs + 14 USL Pro clubs (24 games)

Round 3 (May 28): 24 Second Round winners + 8 NASL clubs (16 games)

Round 4 (June 10-18):
16 Third Round winners + 16 MLS clubs (16 games)

Round 5 (June 24-25): 16 Fourth Round winners (8 games)

Quarterfinals (July 8-9): 8 Fifth Round winners (4 games)

Semifinals (Aug. 12-13): 4 Quarterfinal winners (2 games)

Final (Sep. 30-Oct. 1):
2 Semifinals winners (1 game)

Here are the team breakdowns:

MLS (Division I): All US-based clubs (16 teams: Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, DC United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Los Angeles Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City)

NASL (Division II):
All US-based clubs (8 teams: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Minnesota United, New York Cosmos, San Antonio Scorpions, Tampa Bay Rowdies)

USL Pro (Division III):
All US-based clubs (14 teams: Arizona United SC, Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, LA Galaxy II, OKC Energy FC, Orange County Blues FC, Orlando City SC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Sacramento Republic FC, Wilmington Hammerheads FC)

PDL (Division IV):
(19 teams) Austin Aztex, Baltimore Bohemians, Carolina Dynamo, Fresno Fuego, GPS Portland Phoenix, Jersey Express, Laredo Heat, Los Angeles Misioneros, Michigan Bucks, Ocala Stampede, Ocean City Nor’easters, Orlando City U23s, Panama City Beach Pirates, Portland Timbers U23s, Reading United AC, Real Colorado Foxes, Ventura County Fusion, Vermont Voltage, Western Mass Pioneers.

NPSL (Division IV):
(11 teams) Brooklyn Italians, Greater Binghamton Thunder, RVA FC, CD Aguiluchos USA, Jacksonville United, San Diego Flash, Chattanooga FC, FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic, Tulsa Athletics, Detroit City FC, New York Red Bulls U-23s

USASA (Division IV)

USASA Region I: NY Greek American Atlas (2013 Region I Amateur Cup champion), Icon FC (2013 Region I Open Cup champion)
USASA Region II: FC Schwaben AC (2013 fall qualifying tournament finalist), Des Moines Menace USASA (2013 fall qualifying tournament finalist)
USASA Region III: Red Force (2013 Region III Open Cup runner-up), North Texas Rayados (2013 Region III Open Cup champion)
USASA Region IV: PSA Elite (2013 Region IV Open Cup champion), Cal FC (winner of Region IV fall play-in game)
USASA Wild Cards: Mass Premier Soccer (2013 Region I Open Cup runner-up); RWB Adria (2013 USASA Amateur Cup national champion)

US Club Soccer (Division IV): SC Corinthians USA (Southern California – 2014 US Club Soccer Open Cup champion)

USSSA (Division IV):
Colorado Rovers (2014 USSSA Open Cup champion)

Here is the opening round draw (All times Eastern):

First Round schedule (May 7)

FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic (NPSL) at GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL)
Deering High School; Portland, Maine – 7 p.m. ET

RWB Adria (USASA) at Detroit City FC (NPSL)
Stevenson High School; Livonia, Mich. – 7 p.m. ET

Mass Premier Soccer (USASA) at Western Mass. Pioneers (PDL)
Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass. – 7:30 p.m. ET

Vermont Voltage (PDL) at New York Red Bulls U-23s (NPSL)
Red Bull Training Facility; Whippany, N.J. – 8 p.m. ET

Red Force (USASA) at Colorado Rovers (USSSA)
Shea Stadium; Highlands Ranch, Colo. – 10 p.m. ET

CD Aguiluchos USA (NPSL) at Ventura County Fusion (PDL)
Ventura College; Ventura, Calif. – 10 p.m. ET

SC Corinthians USA (US Club Soccer) at San Diego Flash (NPSL)
Mira Mesa High School; San Diego, Calif. – 10 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Misioneros FC (PDL) at PSA Elite (USASA)
StubHub Center Training Field; Carson, Calif. – 10:30 p.m. ET

Second Round schedule (May 14 unless noted otherwise)

Arizona United SC (USL Pro) at Portland Timbers U-23s (PDL)
Providence Park; Portland, Ore. – May 13, 10 p.m. ET

Jacksonville United FC (NPSL) at Orlando City U23s (PDL)
Seminole Soccer Complex; Sanford, Fla. – 4:30 p.m. ET

Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro) at Schwaben AC (USASA)
Schwaben Athletic Club; Buffalo Grove, Ill. – 5 p.m. ET

Icon FC (USASA) at Baltimore Bohemians (PDL)
Calvert Hall College High School; Towson, Md. – 5:30 p.m .ET

NY Red Bulls U-23s (NPSL) / Vermont Voltage (PDL) winner at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL Pro)
Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa. – 7 p.m. ET

New York Greek American Atlas (USASA) at Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL)
Carey Stadium; Ocean City, N.J. – 7 p.m. ET

Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL) at Reading United A.C. (PDL)
Gurski Stadium; Reading, Pa. – 7 p.m. ET

Richmond Kickers (USL Pro) at RVA FC (Richmond Virginia FC) (NPSL)
Sports Backers Stadium; Richmond, Va. – 7 p.m. ET

Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro) at GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL)
Deering Memorial Field; Portland, Maine – 7 p.m ET
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro) at FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic (NPSL)
Whitehall H.S. Soccer Stadium; Whitehall, Pa. – 7:05 p.m ET

Carolina Dynamo (PDL) at Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro)
Queens University Sports Complex; Charlotte, N.C. – 7 p.m. ET

Michigan Bucks (PDL) at Detroit City FC (NPSL)
Stevenson High School; Livonia, Mich. – 7 p.m. ET
RWB Adria (USASA) at Michigan Bucks (PDL)
Ultimate Soccer Arenas; Pontiac, Mich. – 7:30 p.m. ET

Ocala Stampede (PDL) at Orlando City (USL Pro)
Seminole Soccer Complex; Sanford, Fla. – 7:30 p.m. ET

Panama City Beach Pirates (PDL) at Charleston Battery (USL Pro)
Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C. – 7:30 p.m. ET

Wilmington Hammerheads (USL) at Chattanooga FC (NPSL)
Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn. – 7:30 p.m. ET

Western Mass. Pioneers (PDL) / Mass Premier Soccer (USASA) winner at Rochester Rhinos (USL Pro)
Sahlen’s Stadium; Rochester, N.Y. – 7:35 p.m. ET

Brooklyn Italians SC (NPSL) at Jersey Express (PDL)
NJIT Soccer Stadium; Newark, N.J. – 8 p.m. ET

Oklahoma City Energy FC (USL Pro) at Tulsa Athletics (NPSL)
Tulsa Athletics Stadium; Tulsa, Okla. – 8:30 p.m. ET

Real Colorado Foxes (PDL) at Des Moines Menace (USASA)
Valley Stadium; West Des Moines, Iowa – 8:30 p.m. ET

North Texas Rayados (USASA) at Austin Aztex (PDL)
House Park; Austin, Texas – 8:30 p.m. ET

Orange County Blues (USL Pro) at Fresno Fuego (PDL)
Chukchansi Park; Fresno, Calif. – 9 p.m. ET

Colorado Rovers (USSSA) / Red Force (USASA) winner at Laredo Heat (PDL)
Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex; Laredo, Texas – 9:15 p.m. ET

Sacramento Republic (USL Pro) at Ventura County Fusion (PDL)
Ventura College; Ventura, Calif. – 10 p.m. ET
CD Aguiluchos (NPSL) at Sacramento Republic (USL)
Charles C. Hughes Stadium; Sacramento, Calif. – 10:30 p.m. ET

PSA Elite (USASA) / LA Misioneros FC (PDL) winner at San Diego Flash (NPSL)
Mira Mesa High School; San Diego, Calif. – 10 p.m. ET
Corinthians (US Club Soccer) at PSA Elite (USASA)
Irvine Stadium; Irvine, Calif. – 10:30 p.m. ET
Corinthians (US Club Soccer) vs. LA Misioneros FC (PDL)
Site/Time TBD

Cal FC (USASA) at LA Galaxy II (USL Pro)
StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium; Carson, Calif. – 10:30 p.m. ET


  • El Conductor says:

    I notice the NPSL is only hosting 5 of 16 potential first and second-round games. If that were decided by coin-flip, and assuming none of the hosting applications were deemed “unqualified” by US Soccer, there’s only a 6.6% chance of this occurring.

  • Jason Wang says:

    Disappointed to see NYC teams playing away. If what it takes for Greek AA or Brooklyn Italians renting a location like St. John’s Belson Stadium, they should do it.

  • Ed Meier says:

    Not a single game in Ohio.

  • Alex Gago says:

    How come no PDL FC Tucson?

  • Chris says:

    So how come there are 4 teams from both the USL-PDL Mid Atlantic and North East divisions and 3 teams from SouthWest and Northeast divisions and only 1 from the Northwest, Great Lakes and Heartland divisions?

  • Daniel Feuerstein says:

    I love this set up & I love the separation of the rounds. I know some are upset with games during the World Cup, but it had to be done.

    Still excited and they added the 5th round. You know it’s going to get bigger and better in future US Open Cup tournaments.

  • Culture Czar says:

    Hope the NASL teams don’t sell off their games against MLS clubs again. I understand the need for cash flow, but it sucks that fans of smaller clubs miss out on the opportunity to see MLS teams at home.

  • Chris W says:

    3 out of the 4 NASL teams that made it in to the MLS round last year hosted an MLS team.

  • Matt Brown says:

    When is the draw for the 3rd round?


  • Brad says:

    I really enjoy that GolTV still somehow exists.

  • El Conductor says:

    I’m a big fan of your leather, just not your team. Go, [insert NPSL team here].

  • jocko says:

    @Alex Cago…no FC Tucson because they finished fourth in their division last year. Fresno Fuego, Ventura County Fusion qualified and then LA Missioneros (who finished 3rd) were added when US Soccer expanded the number of PDL teams that qualified

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