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 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.

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
1. y-Des Moines Menace 11 1 0 32 7 25 33 2.75 2.083333 2.666667
2. y-Portland Timbers U23 10 1 1 30 11 19 31 2.583333 1.583333 2.5
3. y-West Chester United SC 11 1 2 29 6 23 35 2.5 1.642857 2.071429
4. y-SC United Bantams 11 1 2 32 15 17 35 2.5 1.214286 2.285714
5. y-The Villages SC 8 1 1 19 5 14 25 2.5 1.4 1.9
6. y-North Carolina Fusion U23 11 2 1 48 13 35 34 2.428571 2.5 3.428571
7. y-Western Mass Pioneers 10 2 2 34 12 22 32 2.285714 1.571429 2.428571
8. y-Kalamazoo FC 9 1 4 29 14 15 31 2.214286 1.071429 2.071429
9. y-Long Island Rough Riders 9 1 4 21 7 14 31 2.214286 1 1.5
10. y-Mississippi Brilla FC 8 2 3 26 11 15 27 2.076923 1.153846 2
11. Chicago FC United 9 1 2 31 9 22 29 2.416667 1.833333 2.583333
12. South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 10 3 1 33 12 21 31 2.214286 1.5 2.357143
13. Boston Bolts 10 4 0 29 16 13 30 2.142857 0.928571 2.071429
14. Ocean City Nor’easters 9 2 3 40 12 28 30 2.142857 2 2.857143
15. Flint City Bucks 9 3 2 35 10 25 29 2.071429 1.785714 2.5
16. Lionsbridge FC 9 3 2 38 16 22 29 2.071429 1.571429 2.714286
17. Seacoast United Phantoms 9 3 2 33 19 14 29 2.071429 1 2.357143
18. West Virginia United 9 3 2 31 20 11 29 2.071429 0.785714 2.214286
19. Kings Hammer 8 2 4 25 17 8 28 2 0.571429 1.785714
20. Cedar Stars Rush 8 3 3 28 15 13 27 1.928571 0.928571 2
21. Northern Virginia FC 8 4 2 27 21 6 26 1.857143 0.428571 1.928571
22. Grand Rapids FC 7 2 5 35 17 18 26 1.857143 1.285714 2.5
23. PDX FC 7 4 1 33 24 9 22 1.833333 0.75 2.75
24. Tampa Bay United 5 2 3 19 12 7 18 1.8 0.7 1.9
25. New York Red Bulls U23 7 3 4 23 10 13 25 1.785714 0.928571 1.642857
26. Corpus Christi FC 7 4 2 20 15 5 23 1.769231 0.384615 1.538462
27. Manhattan SC 7 4 3 28 15 13 24 1.714286 0.928571 2
28. Tri-Cities Otters 7 4 3 28 16 12 24 1.714286 0.857143 2
29. St. Louis Scott Gallagher 6 4 2 24 20 4 20 1.666667 0.333333 2
30. Florida Elite SA 5 4 1 14 11 3 16 1.6 0.3 1.4
31. Texas United 6 5 3 20 19 1 21 1.5 0.071429 1.428571
32. East Atlanta FC 6 5 3 18 24 -6 21 1.5 -0.42857 1.285714
33. FC Motown 6 6 2 18 15 3 20 1.428571 0.214286 1.285714
34. Asheville City SC 6 6 2 16 20 -4 20 1.428571 -0.28571 1.142857
35. AHFC Royals 5 4 5 25 24 1 20 1.428571 0.071429 1.785714
36. Little Rock Rangers 6 7 1 17 17 0 19 1.357143 0 1.214286
37. South Bend Lions 5 5 4 27 17 10 19 1.357143 0.714286 1.928571
38. New Jersey Copa FC 5 6 3 15 18 -3 18 1.285714 -0.21429 1.071429
39. Oakland County FC 5 6 3 28 32 -4 18 1.285714 -0.28571 2
40. Peachtree City MOBA 5 7 2 22 25 -3 17 1.214286 -0.21429 1.571429
41. Charlotte Eagles 5 7 2 21 25 -4 17 1.214286 -0.28571 1.5
42. FA Euro New York 4 5 5 19 21 -2 17 1.214286 -0.14286 1.357143
43. Houston FC 5 8 1 16 27 -11 16 1.142857 -0.78571 1.142857
44. Charlotte Independence 2 4 6 4 20 22 -2 16 1.142857 -0.14286 1.428571
45. Philadelphia Lone Star FC 5 9 0 22 28 -6 15 1.071429 -0.42857 1.571429
46. Round Rock SC 4 7 3 15 21 -6 15 1.071429 -0.42857 1.071429
47. Reading United AC 4 7 3 18 27 -9 15 1.071429 -0.64286 1.285714
48. Black Rock FC 4 7 3 18 28 -10 15 1.071429 -0.71429 1.285714
49. Wake FC 4 7 3 21 33 -12 15 1.071429 -0.85714 1.5
50. Kaw Valley FC 4 8 0 18 31 -13 12 1 -1.08333 1.5
51. Dalton Red Wolves SC 4 9 1 14 24 -10 13 0.928571 -0.71429 1
52. Brazos Valley Cavalry F.C. 3 7 4 22 27 -5 13 0.928571 -0.35714 1.571429
53. Toledo Villa FC 3 7 4 22 40 -18 13 0.928571 -1.28571 1.571429
54. OVF Alliance 3 7 2 16 26 -10 11 0.916667 -0.83333 1.333333
55. Weston FC 2 5 3 8 16 -8 9 0.9 -0.8 0.8
56. FC Miami City 2 6 2 16 23 -7 8 0.8 -0.7 1.6
57. FC Florida U23 2 6 2 8 17 -9 8 0.8 -0.9 0.8
58. Morris Elite SC 3 9 2 8 28 -20 11 0.785714 -1.42857 0.571429
59. Green Bay Voyageurs 2 7 2 10 23 -13 8 0.727273 -1.18182 0.909091
60. Southern Soccer Academy Kings 3 10 1 13 22 -9 10 0.714286 -0.64286 0.928571
61. Lehigh Valley United 3 10 1 18 39 -21 10 0.714286 -1.5 1.285714
62. North Carolina FC U23 3 10 1 15 38 -23 10 0.714286 -1.64286 1.071429
63. Tobacco Road FC 3 10 1 12 44 -32 10 0.714286 -2.28571 0.857143
64. Virginia Beach United 2 9 3 12 25 -13 9 0.642857 -0.92857 0.857143
65. Real Central New Jersey 2 9 3 10 31 -21 9 0.642857 -1.5 0.714286
66. FC Malaga City 1 8 5 7 24 -17 8 0.571429 -1.21429 0.5
67. Fort Wayne FC 1 8 5 14 32 -18 8 0.571429 -1.28571 1
68. Lane United FC 1 9 2 18 36 -18 5 0.416667 -1.5 1.5
69. AC Connecticut 1 11 2 13 35 -22 5 0.357143 -1.57143 0.928571
70. Westchester Flames 0 12 2 13 44 -31 2 0.142857 -2.21429 0.928571
71. Dayton Dutch Lions 0 13 1 14 50 -36 1 0.071429 -2.57143 1
72. FC Wichita 0 11 0 5 30 -25 0 0 -2.27273 0.454545

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