2022 US Open Cup: Which USL League Two teams could qualify?

Posted by | July 17, 2021
Players from The Villages SC (left) and Lakeland Tropics battle for the ball in a 2019 US Open Cup First Round match. Photo: Christopher Arnold

Players from The Villages SC (green) and Lakeland Tropics (white) battle for the ball in an all USL League Two First Round match during the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Christopher Arnold

Fans are awaiting a decision by US Soccer and the Open Cup committee to hold a tournament in 2021, but it’s not too early to start looking ahead to 2022 US Open Cup qualifying.

The format for the 2022 edition of the tournament has yet to be released, however the method in which teams can reach the tournament proper have been finalized including the Open Division National League Track. One of these leagues, 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 allocated to it among the rest of the open division.

Friday night finished the regular season of USL League Two (for eligible divisions, more on that later), which means the “priority list” of teams for determining who qualifies is complete.

Beginning in 2012 and continuing in 2013, the top 16 US-based USL League Two teams qualified for the tournament directly based on how well they did the previous season. That number increased to 19 from 2014-16 and in 2017 the top 21 teams got in. Since then the number of slots awarded has gone down with 20 allocated in 2018 and 10 slots allocated in 2019. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, USL League Two had a slight bump when USSF allotted 11 teams in the 2020 tournament.

Now for 2022, the 10 eligible 11 division winners will be prioritized first, followed by the rest of the league’s teams sorted by Points-Per-Game (PPG). Different divisions played different numbers of games meaning average points per game will be used to sort the teams (followed by total wins (not averaged), average goal difference, and average goals scored). The Mountain Division is not eligible for qualification into the 2022 tournament because it was only three teams. US Open Cup Policy Section 202(a) states that a national league’s division must be at least four teams to be eligible.

EDIT (8/22/21): We received a clarification on US Open Cup Policy Section 202(a) from US Soccer. The policy applies to a entire league and not individual divisions, despite the separation of the divisions during the regular season. This means as long as you play 10 matches or more, you will be eligible as a national league like USL League Two has 75 teams in the 2021 season, well over the minimum of four.

The teams that qualify will join other Open Division teams, such as those from 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 Mountain Division clubs.) y- denotes a division champion.

W L T GF GA GD Pts Avg. Pts Avg. GD Avg. GF GP
1. y-Des Moines Menace 11 1 0 32 7 25 33 2.75 2.083333 2.666667 12
2. y-Portland Timbers U23 10 1 1 30 11 19 31 2.583333 1.583333 2.5 12
3. y-West Chester United SC 11 1 2 29 6 23 35 2.5 1.642857 2.071429 14
4. y-SC United Bantams 11 1 2 32 15 17 35 2.5 1.214286 2.285714 14
5. y-The Villages SC 8 1 1 19 5 14 25 2.5 1.4 1.9 10
6. y-North Carolina Fusion U23 11 2 1 48 13 35 34 2.428571 2.5 3.428571 14
7. y-Western Mass Pioneers 10 2 2 34 12 22 32 2.285714 1.571429 2.428571 14
8. y-Kalamazoo FC 9 1 4 29 14 15 31 2.214286 1.071429 2.071429 14
9. y-Long Island Rough Riders 9 1 4 21 7 14 31 2.214286 1 1.5 14
10. y-Mississippi Brilla FC 8 2 3 26 11 15 27 2.076923 1.153846 2 13
11. y-Park City Red Wolves SC 5 3 2 24 20 4 17 1.7 0.4 2.4 10
12. Chicago FC United 9 1 2 31 9 22 29 2.416667 1.833333 2.583333 12
13. South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 10 3 1 33 12 21 31 2.214286 1.5 2.357143 14
14. Boston Bolts 10 4 0 29 16 13 30 2.142857 0.928571 2.071429 14
15. Ocean City Nor’easters 9 2 3 40 12 28 30 2.142857 2 2.857143 14
16. Flint City Bucks 9 3 2 35 10 25 29 2.071429 1.785714 2.5 14
17. Lionsbridge FC 9 3 2 38 16 22 29 2.071429 1.571429 2.714286 14
18. Seacoast United Phantoms 9 3 2 33 19 14 29 2.071429 1 2.357143 14
19. West Virginia United 9 3 2 31 20 11 29 2.071429 0.785714 2.214286 14
20. Kings Hammer 8 2 4 25 17 8 28 2 0.571429 1.785714 14
21. Cedar Stars Rush 8 3 3 28 15 13 27 1.928571 0.928571 2 14
22. Northern Virginia FC 8 4 2 27 21 6 26 1.857143 0.428571 1.928571 14
23. Grand Rapids FC 7 2 5 35 17 18 26 1.857143 1.285714 2.5 14
24. PDX FC 7 4 1 33 24 9 22 1.833333 0.75 2.75 12
25. Tampa Bay United 5 2 3 19 12 7 18 1.8 0.7 1.9 10
26. New York Red Bulls U23 7 3 4 23 10 13 25 1.785714 0.928571 1.642857 14
27. Corpus Christi FC 7 4 2 20 15 5 23 1.769231 0.384615 1.538462 13
28. Manhattan SC 7 4 3 28 15 13 24 1.714286 0.928571 2 14
29. Tri-Cities Otters 7 4 3 28 16 12 24 1.714286 0.857143 2 14
30. St. Louis Scott Gallagher 6 4 2 24 20 4 20 1.666667 0.333333 2 12
31. Florida Elite SA 5 4 1 14 11 3 16 1.6 0.3 1.4 10
32. Texas United 6 5 3 20 19 1 21 1.5 0.071429 1.428571 14
33. East Atlanta FC 6 5 3 18 24 -6 21 1.5 -0.42857 1.285714 14
34. FC Motown 6 6 2 18 15 3 20 1.428571 0.214286 1.285714 14
35. Asheville City SC 6 6 2 16 20 -4 20 1.428571 -0.28571 1.142857 14
36. AHFC Royals 5 4 5 25 24 1 20 1.428571 0.071429 1.785714 14
37. Colorado Rush 4 4 2 18 17 1 14 1.4 0.1 1.8 10
38. Little Rock Rangers 6 7 1 17 17 0 19 1.357143 0 1.214286 14
39. South Bend Lions 5 5 4 27 17 10 19 1.357143 0.714286 1.928571 14
40. New Jersey Copa FC 5 6 3 15 18 -3 18 1.285714 -0.21429 1.071429 14
41. Oakland County FC 5 6 3 28 32 -4 18 1.285714 -0.28571 2 14
42. Peachtree City MOBA 5 7 2 22 25 -3 17 1.214286 -0.21429 1.571429 14
43. Charlotte Eagles 5 7 2 21 25 -4 17 1.214286 -0.28571 1.5 14
44. FA Euro New York 4 5 5 19 21 -2 17 1.214286 -0.14286 1.357143 14
45. Houston FC 5 8 1 16 27 -11 16 1.142857 -0.78571 1.142857 14
46. Charlotte Independence 2 4 6 4 20 22 -2 16 1.142857 -0.14286 1.428571 14
47. Ogden City SC 3 5 2 18 23 -5 11 1.1 -0.5 1.8 10
48. Philadelphia Lone Star FC 5 9 0 22 28 -6 15 1.071429 -0.42857 1.571429 14
49. Round Rock SC 4 7 3 15 21 -6 15 1.071429 -0.42857 1.071429 14
50. Reading United AC 4 7 3 18 27 -9 15 1.071429 -0.64286 1.285714 14
51. Black Rock FC 4 7 3 18 28 -10 15 1.071429 -0.71429 1.285714 14
52. Wake FC 4 7 3 21 33 -12 15 1.071429 -0.85714 1.5 14
53. Kaw Valley FC 4 8 0 18 31 -13 12 1 -1.08333 1.5 12
54. Dalton Red Wolves SC 4 9 1 14 24 -10 13 0.928571 -0.71429 1 14
55. Brazos Valley Cavalry F.C. 3 7 4 22 27 -5 13 0.928571 -0.35714 1.571429 14
56. Toledo Villa FC 3 7 4 22 40 -18 13 0.928571 -1.28571 1.571429 14
57. OVF Alliance 3 7 2 16 26 -10 11 0.916667 -0.83333 1.333333 12
58. Weston FC 2 5 3 8 16 -8 9 0.9 -0.8 0.8 10
59. FC Miami City 2 6 2 16 23 -7 8 0.8 -0.7 1.6 10
60. FC Florida U23 2 6 2 8 17 -9 8 0.8 -0.9 0.8 10
61. Morris Elite SC 3 9 2 8 28 -20 11 0.785714 -1.42857 0.571429 14
62. Green Bay Voyageurs 2 7 2 10 23 -13 8 0.727273 -1.18182 0.909091 11
63. Southern Soccer Academy Kings 3 10 1 13 22 -9 10 0.714286 -0.64286 0.928571 14
64. Lehigh Valley United 3 10 1 18 39 -21 10 0.714286 -1.5 1.285714 14
65. North Carolina FC U23 3 10 1 15 38 -23 10 0.714286 -1.64286 1.071429 14
66. Tobacco Road FC 3 10 1 12 44 -32 10 0.714286 -2.28571 0.857143 14
67. Virginia Beach United 2 9 3 12 25 -13 9 0.642857 -0.92857 0.857143 14
68. Real Central New Jersey 2 9 3 10 31 -21 9 0.642857 -1.5 0.714286 14
69. FC Malaga City 1 8 5 7 24 -17 8 0.571429 -1.21429 0.5 14
70. Fort Wayne FC 1 8 5 14 32 -18 8 0.571429 -1.28571 1 14
71. Lane United FC 1 9 2 18 36 -18 5 0.416667 -1.5 1.5 12
72. AC Connecticut 1 11 2 13 35 -22 5 0.357143 -1.57143 0.928571 14
73. Westchester Flames 0 12 2 13 44 -31 2 0.142857 -2.21429 0.928571 14
74. Dayton Dutch Lions 0 13 1 14 50 -36 1 0.071429 -2.57143 1 14
75. FC Wichita 0 11 0 5 30 -25 0 0 -2.27273 0.454545 11

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