Opening round pairings for 2018 US Open Cup announced; 105th tournament kicks off in May

Posted by | April 4, 2018

2016-usoc-logo-724-wideThe United States Soccer Federation (USSF) announced the draw for the First Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The 105th edition of the United States national championship will feature a three-game Play-In Round before the First Round kicks off May 8 with the first of 26 games.

The details on the Play-In Round are still yet to be finalized but they are scheduled to take place the first weekend in May (May 5-6). The New York Cosmos B, Jacksonville Armada FC and Miami FC 2 were recently announced as late entries to the tournament after the North American Soccer League canceled the 2018 season. The three teams will compete in the upcoming National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).

The First Round begins on May 8 when the Kitsap SC Pumas, who joined the NPSL after eight years in the Premier Development League, will travel to Oregon to take the Portland Timbers Under-23s (PDL) in a matchup of two former division rivals.

The following day, on May 9, the tournament kicks into high gear with 25 games on the schedule. The round will feature the three winners of the Play-In Round, combined with 19 PDL teams and 17 entries from the NPSL. The remaining 13 mostly amateur teams from Open Division local entries that got in through the federation’s qualifying tournament that concluded last Fall.

The 26 games feature a number of compelling matchups between rival leagues as fans will see a minimum of 11, and as many as 12, games between PDL and NPSL opponents.

The hosts for the First Round, and all future rounds, are determined by random selection. If both teams apply to host and both teams meet the federation’s minimum venue standards, then the home team is decided by random draw.

The format for the 2018 competition will remain largely the same, with some minor changes to prize money, travel reimbursement and schedule flexibility. For the first time since 2013, USSF has increased the prize money with the champion now receiving $300,000, and the runner-up getting $100,000. The team that advances the furthest from each division (Division 2 pro, Open Division) will get $25,000 (up from $250k, $60k, and $15k, respectively).

In addition to the $300,000, the winner also receives a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.

The potential Second Round pairings were supposed to be announced today but the addition of the Play-In Round pushed that draw back to April 11.

Here is schedule for the Play-In Round and the First Round of the 2018 US Open Cup:

PLAY-IN ROUND (Home team listed first)

Date Game Time Venue
May 6 Jacksonville Armada (NPSL) vs. The Villages SC (PDL) 7 p.m. ET Southern Oak Stadium (Jacksonville Univ.); Jacksonville, Fla.
May 6 FC Miami City (PDL) vs. Miami FC 2 (NPSL) 7 p.m. ET Tropical Park Stadium; Miami, Fla.
May 6 Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) vs. New York Cosmos B (NPSL) 8 p.m. ET Long Island University Brooklyn Athletic Facility; Brooklyn, N.Y.

FIRST ROUND (Home team listed first)

Northeast Region

Date Game Time Venue
May 9 AFC Ann Arbor (NPSL) vs. Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL) 6 p.m. ET Scicluna Field (Eastern Michigan Univ.); Ypsilanti, Mich.
May 9 Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) vs. Elm City Express (NPSL) 7 p.m. ET Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.
May 9 Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) vs. Kingston Stockade FC (NPSL) 7 p.m. ET John Burns Park; Massapequa Park, N.Y.
May 9 FC Motown (NPSL) vs. New York Red Bulls U23 (PDL) 7 p.m. ET Ranger Stadium (Drew University); Madison, N.J.
May 9 Reading United AC (PDL) vs. Christos FC (Md.) 7 p.m. ET Don Thomas Stadium (Exeter Twp. H.S.); Reading, Pa.
May 9 Erie Commodores FC (NPSL) vs. Rochester River Dogz (N.Y.) 7 p.m. ET Gannon University Field; Erie, Pa.
May 9 Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) vs. Kendall Wanderers (Mass.) 7:30 p.m. ET Seacoast United Sports Park; Amesbury, Mass.
May 9 Detroit City FC (NPSL) vs. Michigan Bucks (PDL) 7:30 p.m. ET Keyworth Stadium; Hamtramck, Mich.
May 9 New York Cosmos B (NPSL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (N.Y.) 7:30 p.m. ET Commisso Stadium (Columbia Univ.); New York, N.Y.
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (N.Y.) 8 p.m. ET Long Island University Brooklyn Athletic Facility; Brooklyn, N.Y.


Southeast Region

Date Game Time Venue
May 9 SIMA Aguilas (PDL) vs. The Villages SC (PDL)/Jacksonville Armada (NPSL) winner 7 p.m. ET Montverde Academy; Montverde, Fla.
May 9 Charlotte Eagles (PDL) vs. Inter Nashville FC (NPSL) 7 p.m. ET Mecklenburg County Sportsplex; Matthews, N.C.
May 9 Myrtle Beach Mutiny (PDL) vs. South Georgia Tormenta FC (PDL) 7:10 p.m. ET North Myrtle Beach Sports Park (Field 6); Little River, S.C.
May 9 Miami United FC (NPSL) vs. FC Kendall (Fla.) 7:30 p.m. ET Ted Hendricks Stadium; Hialeah, Fla.
May 9 New Orleans Jesters (NPSL) vs. Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) 7 p.m. CT Pan American Stadium; New Orleans, La.
May 9 Red Force FC (Fla.) vs. FC Miami City (PDL)/Miami FC 2 (NPSL) winner 8:30 p.m. ET Tropical Park Stadium; Miami, Fla.


Central Region

Date Game Time Venue
May 9 FC Wichita (NPSL) vs. OKC Energy U23 (PDL) 7 p.m. CT Adair-Austin Stadium (Friends Univ.); Wichita, Kan.
May 9 Duluth FC (NPSL) vs. Dakota Fusion FC (NPSL) 7 p.m. CT Public Schools Stadium; Duluth, Minn.
May 9 Midland-Odessa Sockers FC (NPSL) vs. Lakeland Tropics (PDL) 7:30 p.m. CT Grande Communications Stadium; Midland, Texas
May 9 NTX Rayados (Texas) vs. Fort Worth Vaqueros (NPSL) 7:30 p.m. CT Richland Community College (Field 10); Dallas, Texas
May 9 FC Denver (Colo.) vs. Azteca FC (Colo.) 7:15 p.m. MT Five Star Stadium; Thornton, Colo.


West Region

Date Game Time Venue
May 8 Portland Timbers U23 (PDL) vs. Kitsap Soccer Club (NPSL) 7 p.m. PT McCulloch Stadium; Salem, Ore.
May 9 CD Aguiluchos USA (NPSL) vs. San Francisco City FC (PDL) 6 p.m. PT Raimondi Park; Oakland, Calif.
May 9 FC Golden State Force (PDL) vs. L.A. Wolves FC (Calif.) 7 p.m. PT Rio Hondo College; Whittier, Calif.
May 9 Orange County FC (NPSL) vs. Santa Ana Winds FC (Calif.) 7 p.m. PT Orange County Great Park – Championship Soccer Stadium; Irvine, Calif.
May 9 FC Arizona (NPSL) vs. Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.) 7 p.m. MST John Riggs Stadium; Mesa, Ariz.
May 9 FC Tucson (PDL) vs. La Máquina FC (Calif.) 7:30 p.m. MST Kino North Stadium; Tucson, Ariz.