Fans are awaiting the results of the 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, but it’s not too early to start looking ahead to the 2020 US Open Cup qualifying.
The format for the 107th edition of the tournament has yet to be released, and while there was a drastic decrease in the number of USL League Two slots for 2019, the US Open Cup committee has been discussing changing the format to allow more Open Division teams into the tournament. USL League Two, formerly the Premier Development League (PDL), has held a fairly consistent qualifying process since 2012 where the league determines its entries based on the previous year’s results. The only changes have been the number of teams that the US Soccer Federation has awarded USL League Two.
This weekend is the final weekend of USL League Two, so teams and fans will not only be scoreboard watching for playoff positioning, but also to try to move up in the overall league standings to improve their chances of qualifying for next year’s US Open Cup.
In 2012 and 2013, the top 16 US-based USL League Two teams qualified for the tournament, while that number increased to 19 from 2014-16. In 2017, the top 21 teams got in. It has declined since then, with 20 slots allocated in 2018 and 10 slots allocated in 2019.
The 11 division winners will be prioritized first, followed by the rest of the league. As the Mountain Division played a 12-game schedule compared to everyone else playing a 14-game schedule, average points per game will be used to sort the teams (followed by average average wins, average goal difference, and average goals scored). If a Canadian team wins the division, they will not be replaced by the next best finishing American team. The Great Lakes division will also count all 14 of the games played on each team’s schedule this season for Open Cup purposes, even though only 12 of the matches will count for USL League Two playoff purposes.
The teams that qualify will join other Open Division teams, such as the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and local amateur qualifiers in the opening round of next year’s competition.
Below is the overall USL League Two standings (excluding Canadian clubs) updated after the games of Friday, July 12, and each team’s remaining games.
Dalton Red Wolves SC 4:5 Charlotte Eagles
Black Rock FC 2:7 AC Connecticut
Florida Elite SA 1:1 Lakeland Tropics
Seacoast United Phantoms 2:1 Manhattan SC
Long Island Rough Riders 1:1 Cedar Stars Rush
Peachtree City MOBA 0:1 Discoveries SC
Texas United 0:6 AHFC Royals
Victoria Highlanders FC 2:3 Calgary Foothills FC
Portland Timbers U23 1:1 Lane United FC
Orange County SC U23 3:1 San Francisco City FC
UPDATE (July 13, 11:23 a.m. ET) – Sounders drop to 2nd place in the Northwest, division titles to be decided on Saturday
With their 5-4 defeat to Charlotte Eagles on Friday, Dalton Red Wolves drop out of the top 20, significantly decreasing their chances of an Open Cup berth. Florida Elite SA also did the same with a 1-1 draw against Lakeland Tropics. Long Island Rough Riders, while undefeated in 10 straight matches, have drawn 7 matches this season, including last night’s 1-1 draw with Cedar Stars Rush, and could use all 3 points on Sunday against Ocean City Nor’easters. Finally, Calgary Foothills took back lead of the Northwest Division from Sounders FC U23, moving the Sounders academy down 6 spots to 16th. Sounders still have a chance at the Northwest Division crown if Calgary falters against Victoria and the Sounders can defeat rivals Portland Timbers.
Two division titles will be decided on Saturday. In the South Atlantic Division, North Carolina Fusion U23 will need all three points against Virginia Beach United to win the division championship. If the Fusion do not win, North Carolina FC U23 will take the title, as they own the head to head tiebreaker in the event of a Fusion draw today. The division title could be the difference between making the Open Cup and not, as the runner-up could drop below the Top 20 range.
The Deep South Division will be decided in a winner take all match today as South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 travels to SC United Bantams. Tied on 29 points for the season, a winner will take the division title. In the event of a draw, they are both equal on head to head and number of wins. Tormenta FC 2 would take the tiebreaker on the vastly higher overall goal difference in the league.
Western Mass Pioneers 2:1 Manhattan SC
Park City Red Wolves SC 0:3 Colorado Pride Switchbacks U23
Ogden City SC 2:0 Albuquerque Sol F.C.
Sarasota Metropolis FC 4:2 FC Miami City
Boston Bolts 3:4 GPS Portland Phoenix
Virginia Beach United 0:3 North Carolina Fusion U23
Dayton Dutch Lions 0:1 Flint City Bucks
FA Euro New York 1:2 New York Red Bulls U23
Tri-Cities Otters 3:7 Tobacco Road FC
Daytona SC 1:0 Treasure Coast Tritons
South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 1:0 SC United Bantams
Cincinnati Dutch Lions 2:2 West Virginia Alliance FC
Seacoast United Phantoms 3:3 Westchester Flames
St. Louis Lions 2:2 Green Bay Voyageurs
AHFC Royals 3:3 Brazos Valley Cavalry F.C.
Thunder Bay Chill 0:2 Des Moines Menace
Orange County SC U23 1:1 San Francisco Glens SC
Southern California Seahorses 1:2 FC Golden State Force
UPDATE (July 14, 1:00 p.m. ET) – Tormenta FC 2 and Fusion U23 take division titles, one decided on Sunday, Des Moines Menace earn regular season title
South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 defeated SC United Bantams 1-0 to take the Deep South Division championship on Saturday, securing their spot among the top 10 of the Open Cup standings. North Carolina Fusion U23 also got the job done against Virginia Beach United 3-0 to take the South Atlantic Title. Sounders FC U23 can win the Northwest title today, but only if they win and Calgary Foothills lose to Victoria Highlanders. Calgary would have the head to head tiebreaker if Calgary and Seattle were to finished tied on points.
There was a shakeup at the top of the standings on Saturday. In the early afternoon, Western Mass Pioneers defeated Manhattan SC 2-1 to finish on 36 points. In the evening, Brazos Valley Cavalry finished 3-3 with AHFC Royals. Coupling that with Des Moines Menace’s 2-0 victory over Thunder Bay Chill, Des Moines moves up to first place on goal difference over the Pioneers. The Cavalry would drop to 4th after FC Golden State Force defeated Southern California Seahorses 2-1.
Other teams that did themselves favors with wins included Flint City Bucks 1-0 victory over Dayton Dutch Lions. That moved the Bucks all the way up to 14th place. GPS Portland Phoenix got themselves a hard fought 4-3 victory over Boston Bolts, landing them into 11th place as the best USL League Two team that didn’t win their division. Finally, Daytona SC got a 1-0 victory over Treasure Coast Tritons. That moved Daytona up to 18th place and the Tritons down to 15th place.
Victoria Highlanders FC 0:3 Calgary Foothills FC
Peachtree City MOBA 0:3 Charlotte Eagles
Portland Timbers U23 3:3 Sounders FC U23
Long Island Rough Riders 3:3 Ocean City Nor’easters
Lehigh Valley United 0:5 Reading United AC
Dalton Red Wolves SC 0:2 Discoveries SC
Houston FC 1:6 Corpus Christi FC
Thunder Bay Chill 1:2 Green Bay Voyageurs
UPDATE (July 14, 10:15 p.m. ET) – Calgary takes Northwest division, Corpus Christi FC moves into top 15
Calgary Foothills claimed the Northwest Division title today with a strong 3-0 victory over Victoria Highlanders. This means that Sounders FC U23 could not join the rest of the division winners at the top of the table.
Corpus Christi FC also boosted their ranking all the way up to 15th with a commanding 6-1 victory over Houston FC. Ocean City and Long Island had a chance to get into the top 20, but untimately settled for a 3-3 draw which hampered both team’s chances of qualifying in 2020.
Reading United moved up to 5th after a 5-0 win over Lehigh Valley United.
|W||L||T||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Avg. Pts||Avg. Wins||Avg. GD||Avg. GF||x-Division leader | y-Clinched division|
|1.||y-Des Moines Menace||11||0||3||30||4||26||36||2.57143||0.78571||1.85714||2.14286||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|2.||y-Western Mass Pioneers||11||0||3||31||7||24||36||2.57143||0.78571||1.71429||2.21429||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|3.||y-FC Golden State Force||11||2||1||42||14||28||34||2.42857||0.78571||2||3||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|4.||y-Brazos Valley Cavalry FC||10||0||4||51||14||37||34||2.42857||0.71429||2.64286||3.64286||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|5.||y-Reading United AC||10||1||3||32||13||19||33||2.35714||0.71429||1.35714||2.28571||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|6.||y-Colorado Pride Switchbacks U23||9||2||1||30||15||15||28||2.33333||0.75||1.25||2.5||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|7.||y-South Georgia Tormenta FC 2||10||2||2||33||11||22||32||2.28571||0.71429||1.57143||2.35714||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|8.||y-The Villages SC||9||1||4||32||13||19||31||2.21429||0.64286||1.35714||2.28571||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|9.||y-Chicago FC United||8||3||1||27||9||18||25||2.08333||0.66667||1.5||2.25||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|10.||y-North Carolina Fusion U23||8||4||2||24||18||6||26||1.85714||0.57143||0.42857||1.71429||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|11.||GPS Portland Phoenix||9||3||2||29||20||9||29||2.07143||0.64286||0.64286||2.07143||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|12.||SC United Bantams||9||3||2||22||15||7||29||2.07143||0.64286||0.5||1.57143||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|13.||Ventura County Fusion||9||4||1||38||24||14||28||2||0.64286||1||2.71429||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|14.||Corpus Christi FC||8||4||2||43||28||15||26||1.85714||0.57143||1.07143||3.07143||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|15.||Treasure Coast Tritons||8||4||2||27||14||13||26||1.85714||0.57143||0.92857||1.92857||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|16.||Sounders FC U23||7||3||4||24||13||11||25||1.78571||0.5||0.78571||1.71429||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|17.||Kaw Valley FC||7||3||4||18||9||9||25||1.78571||0.5||0.64286||1.28571||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|18.||Daytona SC||7||3||4||13||10||3||25||1.78571||0.5||0.21429||0.92857||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|19.||Flint City Bucks||6||3||3||20||17||3||21||1.75||0.5||0.25||1.66667||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|20.||Manhattan SC||8||6||0||33||20||13||24||1.71429||0.57143||0.92857||2.35714||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|21.||North Carolina FC U23||8||6||0||21||19||2||24||1.71429||0.57143||0.14286||1.5||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|22.||Florida Elite SA||7||4||3||25||17||8||24||1.71429||0.5||0.57143||1.78571||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|23.||Ogden City SC||6||4||2||23||19||4||20||1.66667||0.5||0.33333||1.91667||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|24.||Mississippi Brilla FC||6||3||5||34||29||5||23||1.64286||0.42857||0.35714||2.42857||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|25.||Ocean City Nor’easters||6||3||5||27||22||5||23||1.64286||0.42857||0.35714||1.92857||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|26.||Long Island Rough Riders||5||1||8||22||14||8||23||1.64286||0.35714||0.57143||1.57143||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|27.||Cincinnati Dutch Lions||5||3||4||17||15||2||19||1.58333||0.41667||0.16667||1.41667||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|28.||Dalton Red Wolves SC||7||6||1||30||24||6||22||1.57143||0.5||0.42857||2.14286||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|29.||Southern California Seahorses||6||4||4||21||19||2||22||1.57143||0.42857||0.14286||1.5||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|30.||New York Red Bulls U23||5||3||6||26||18||8||21||1.5||0.35714||0.57143||1.85714||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|31.||Virginia Beach United||6||6||2||22||22||0||20||1.42857||0.42857||0||1.57143||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|32.||Lane United FC||5||4||5||22||17||5||20||1.42857||0.35714||0.35714||1.57143||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|33.||AHFC Royals||5||4||5||26||22||4||20||1.42857||0.35714||0.28571||1.85714||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|34.||Green Bay Voyageurs||5||4||5||18||15||3||20||1.42857||0.35714||0.21429||1.28571||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|35.||Charlotte Eagles||5||4||5||24||29||-5||20||1.42857||0.35714||-0.3571||1.71429||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|36.||Tri-Cities Otters||5||5||4||28||28||0||19||1.35714||0.35714||0||2||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|37.||FC Miami City||5||5||4||24||24||0||19||1.35714||0.35714||0||1.71429||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|38.||Dayton Dutch Lions||5||6||1||17||19||-2||16||1.33333||0.41667||-0.1667||1.41667||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|39.||Lionsbridge FC||5||6||3||26||24||2||18||1.28571||0.35714||0.14286||1.85714||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|40.||Tobacco Road FC||5||7||2||29||29||0||17||1.21429||0.35714||0||2.07143||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|41.||Boston Bolts||5||7||2||23||28||-5||17||1.21429||0.35714||-0.3571||1.64286||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|42.||Santa Cruz Breakers FC||5||7||2||27||35||-8||17||1.21429||0.35714||-0.5714||1.92857||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|43.||Orange County SC U23||4||5||5||28||26||2||17||1.21429||0.28571||0.14286||2||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|44.||Black Rock FC||5||8||1||23||34||-11||16||1.14286||0.35714||-0.7857||1.64286||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|45.||Cedar Stars Rush||4||6||4||16||20||-4||16||1.14286||0.28571||-0.2857||1.14286||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|46.||St. Louis Lions||4||7||3||17||20||-3||15||1.07143||0.28571||-0.2143||1.21429||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|47.||Lakeland Tropics||4||7||3||23||29||-6||15||1.07143||0.28571||-0.4286||1.64286||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|48.||Lehigh Valley United||4||7||3||21||30||-9||15||1.07143||0.28571||-0.6429||1.5||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|49.||Wake FC||4||7||3||12||22||-10||15||1.07143||0.28571||-0.7143||0.85714||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|50.||Seacoast United Phantoms||4||7||3||19||31||-12||15||1.07143||0.28571||-0.8571||1.35714||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|51.||San Francisco City FC||4||7||3||26||42||-16||15||1.07143||0.28571||-1.1429||1.85714||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|52.||Sarasota Metropolis FC||4||8||2||22||27||-5||14||1||0.28571||-0.3571||1.57143||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|53.||Park City Red Wolves SC||3||6||3||18||26||-8||12||1||0.25||-0.6667||1.5||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|54.||Westchester Flames||3||7||4||25||32||-7||13||0.92857||0.21429||-0.5||1.78571||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|55.||San Diego Zest FC||3||7||4||22||32||-10||13||0.92857||0.21429||-0.7143||1.57143||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|56.||Portland Timbers U23||3||7||4||19||33||-14||13||0.92857||0.21429||-1||1.35714||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|57.||FA Euro New York||2||7||5||16||25||-9||11||0.78571||0.14286||-0.6429||1.14286||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|58.||Discoveries SC||3||10||1||11||25||-14||10||0.71429||0.21429||-1||0.78571||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|59.||San Francisco Glens SC||2||8||4||23||35||-12||10||0.71429||0.14286||-0.8571||1.64286||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|60.||Albuquerque Sol FC||2||8||2||12||23||-11||8||0.66667||0.16667||-0.9167||1||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|61.||AC Connecticut||2||9||3||21||32||-11||9||0.64286||0.14286||-0.7857||1.5||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|62.||Peachtree City MOBA||2||11||1||11||27||-16||7||0.5||0.14286||-1.1429||0.78571||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|63.||Texas United||2||11||1||13||46||-33||7||0.5||0.14286||-2.3571||0.92857||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|64.||Houston FC||1||10||3||11||39||-28||6||0.42857||0.07143||-2||0.78571||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|65.||Evergreen FC||0||8||6||11||29||-18||6||0.42857||0||-1.2857||0.78571||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|66.||West Virginia Alliance FC||0||9||3||7||28||-21||3||0.25||0||-1.75||0.58333||NO GAMES REMAINING|
|67.||Weston FC||1||13||0||9||41||-32||3||0.21429||0.07143||-2.2857||0.64286||NO GAMES REMAINING|