2022 US Open Cup qualifying: 92 teams approved for Open Division Local tournament

Posted by | August 24, 2021
Cal FC players huddle up prior to their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against Oxnard Guerreros. Photo: Victor Friedman | Cal FC

Cal FC players huddle up prior to their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against Oxnard Guerreros. Photo: Victor Friedman | Cal FC

Virginia United FC and CD Huateras finished out their 2020 US Open Cup third qualifying round match surrounded in chaos. The 3-1 scoreline ensured United was set to make it’s second straight tournament while their fellow Virginia side had earned three red cards in the final minute of regulation. Then 20-year-old Christian Osorio scored the game sealer in the 90th minute in Woodbridge to make his team the final side into the 107th edition of the tournament.

The game wrapped up just after 9 p.m. Eastern time on Nov. 24, 2019, the last time a U.S. Soccer-sanctioned US Open Cup qualifier took place. Now, 639 days and two cancelled tournaments later, the qualifying tournament for the 2022 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is taking shape.

On Monday night, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) announced the entries for the Open Division Local qualifying tournament for the 2022 US Open Cup. In total, 92 teams from 17 different states plus the District of Columbia will attempt to qualify for what will now officially be the 107th edition of America’s national soccer championship.

Despite initially being worded as “if needed”, USSF has announced there will be four rounds of qualifying for teams to compete in. This will be the second time a fourth round is used in open division local qualifying but it will be the first time it is announced at the start of the tournament (the 2019 tournament qualifying fourth round was a late addition after the third round was already complete).

For the sixth year in a row, the most represented league of the 23 taking part is the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) which entered 33 teams. The total is the same amount the nearly ten year old league saw enter the 2020 qualifying competition. One league that might be surprising to see in the competition is the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), whose teams are normally not allowed to compete in local qualifying due to it’s status (along with USL League Two) as a National League. However teams in the NPSL’s Golden Gate Conference were not able to participate in the league’s regular competition in 2021, holding a separate table and playoffs. Four teams from that conference have been allowed to take part including 1993 US Open Cup champions El Farolito SC.

Within the group, 50 of the teams have previously competed in the Open Division tournament before. This includes three previous Open Cup champions; New York Greek American SC (NY), New York Pancyprian Freedoms (NY), Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals (PA). Two others, Trojans FC (University of Southern California) and San Antonio Runners (University of Texas, San Antonio), are rare examples of teams based out of college campuses.

Another returning team is Newtown Pride FC who was one of the few teams to qualify for both the cancelled 2020 and 2021 tournaments. Initially earning an entry as 2019 National Amateur Cup champions, the Connecticut side was one of only two open division teams to be selected via random draw for the abbreviated 2021 tournament. If the team wants to actually compete in its first US Open Cup it will need to do something it has yet to do; win in local qualifying.

There is also plenty of intrigue when it comes to some of the 42 new faces hoping to make history. New Amsterdam FC ll, reserve side of it’s National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) namesake, is competing out of the newly formed Eastern Premier Soccer League (EPSL). The league is a joint effort between the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and Maryland Majors Soccer League to have regional promotion and relegation between top amateur sides. In total, four other teams from the league are attempting to qualify.

Additionally, NAFC II is the first reserve side of a professional team to ever attempt qualification via Open Division Local Qualifying.

The Open Division Local Qualifying tournament was launched in 2016 as an alternative to holding state and regional qualifying tournaments for each of the participating leagues and organizations. Now, all teams from any US Soccer-affiliated leagues just need to register. The competition begins in the fall and all entrants are divided up regionally to minimize travel, with the teams that advance the furthest qualifying for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which will begin in the spring. The number of teams that will qualify for the tournament is yet to be announced as the draw for the competition will be announced in the coming days. What is known is that the qualifying tournament will require four rounds.

As has been the case since 2018, one Open Division Local team already knows they will be in the 2022 tournament. Lansdowne Yonkers FC (New York) won the 2022 National Amateur Cup championship over Cal FC (CA), 2-1, earning them an automatic berth into the first round proper. The team, formerly known as Lansdowne Bhoys FC, will be making their third tournament appearance (2016, 2018). During its inaugural cup run, the Bhoys reached the third round of the 2016 tournament, defeating professional side Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USL) along the way.

With this announcement, TheCup.us can make a reasonable estimate on the number of Open Division teams and the allocation among the three qualification pools (local qualifying, NPSL, and USL League Two.) Our estimates last month stated that 56 teams total would be participating in the first round between USL League One (USL1), National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), and the Open Division. As of now, there are 10 eligible USL1 teams and 12 eligible NISA teams, leaving 34 teams left to split among the Open Division. Currently projections are leaving out any potential independent teams that could participate in the proposed second pro league by MLS. If these independently-owned teams transfer over from existing professional leagues, that would either increase or keep the same the number of slots for the Open Division. If these are new professional teams (or revived from hiatus) then that would decrease the number of slots for the Open Division. However, with no concrete news since the initial announcement on June 21, the league is excluded for now until more is announced.

There are 93 teams in the Local Qualifying pool (Lansdowne Bhoys FC is included in that), 76 teams in the NPSL pool, and 75 teams in the USL League Two (USL2) pool. 244 teams total. Simple math can determine the number of teams for each pool.

Local Qualifying: (93 / 244) * 34 = 12.96 rounded up to 13 slots. Lansdowne Bhoys FC takes up one of those slots, the remaining 12 will be determined in qualifying this fall.

NPSL: (76 / 244) * 34 = 10.59 rounded up to 11 slots. Which NPSL clubs could qualify can be found here.

USL2: (75/244)*34 = 10.45 rounded down to 10 slots. Which USL2 clubs could qualify can be found here.

2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Open Division Local Qualifying Schedule

First Qualifying Round: Sept. 18-19
Second Qualifying Round: Oct. 16-17
Third Qualifying Round: Nov. 20-21
Fourth Qualifying Round: Dec. 18-19

2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Open Division Teams Entering via the Local Qualifying Track
Listed by State and League (Sanctioning Body) Affiliation

California (24)
National Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Contra Costa FC; Concord, Calif.
El Farolito; San Francisco, Calif.
FC Davis^^; Davis, Calif.
Oakland Stompers; Oakland, Calif.

National Soccer League (U.S. Specialty Sports Assn.)
Real San Jose; San Jose, Calif.

San Francisco Soccer Football League (Calif. Soccer Assn.-North/USASA)
Inter San Francisco; San Francisco, Calif.
Metro FC; San Francisco, Calif.

Southwest Premier League (U.S. Specialty Sports Assn.)
Capistrano FC; San Clemente, Calif.
Chula Vista FC^^; Chula Vista, Calif.
L.A. Monsters FC; Wilmington, Calif.
Outbreak FC; Long Beach, Calif.
Real Sociedad Royals; Irvine, Calif.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Davis Legacy SC; Davis, Calif.
Desert Communities SC Pathfinders; Helendale, Calif.
Escondido FC; Spring Valley, Calif.
Gremio FC San Diego; San Diego, Calif.
JASA RWC; Redwood City, Calif.
Modesto City Football Club; Modesto, Calif.
Rebels Soccer Club; Spring Valley, Calif.
Rose City FC; Arcadia, Calif.
San Fernando Valley FC; Glendale, Calif.
Sporting ID11; Lake Forest, Calif.
Trojans FC; Irvine, Calif.
White Tigers FC; Poway, Calif.

Colorado (10)
Colorado Premier League (U.S. Specialty Sports Assn.)
Boulder United FC; Superior, Colo.
Colorado Rovers; Golden, Colo.

Colorado Super League (Colorado Soccer Assn./U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Athletic Club of Sloan’s Lake; Wheat Ridge, Colo.
Azteca FC; Golden, Colo.
Colorado Rush; Arvada, Colo.
FC Denver; Denver, Colo.
FC Union Jerez; Arvada, Colo.
Gam United FC; Denver, Colo.
Peak Eleven Football Club; Boulder, Colo.
Harpos FC^^; Boulder, Colo.

Connecticut (1)
Connecticut Soccer League (Connecticut State Soccer Assn./USASA)
Newtown Pride FC^^; Newtown, Conn.

District of Columbia (2)
DC Premier League (Maryland State Soccer Assn./USASA)
DC Cheddar; Washington, D.C.

Woodbridge Soccer League (Asociacion Nacional Fútbol en USA)
Districtonia Futbol; Washington, D.C.

Florida (14)
National Soccer League (U.S. Specialty Sports Assn.)
City Soccer FC; West Palm Beach, Fla.
Florida Brothers; Miami Gardens, Fla.
Hurricane FC; Delray Beach, Fla.
Miami Soccer Academy; Miami, Fla.
Orlando FC Wolves; Orlando, Fla.
Palm Beach Breakers; West Palm Beach, Fla.
Red Force FC; Miami Gardens, Fla.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Deportivo Lake Mary FC; Lake Mary, Fla.
Florida Soccer Soldiers; Miami Beach, Fla.
International Soccer Association: Boca Raton, Fla.
Miami Beach Club de Futbol; Miami Gardens, Fla.
Miami Sun FC; Miami, Fla.
Naples City FC; Naples, Fla.
Oceanway FC; Jacksonville, Fla.

Georgia (3)
Atlanta District Amateur Soccer League (Georgia State Soccer Assn./USASA)
Georgia Revolution FC Reserves; Locust Grove, Ga.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Atletico Atlanta; Milton, Ga.
Georgia Storm FC; Carrollton, Ga.

Illinois (1)
Metro East Football Association (Illinois State Soccer Assn./USASA)
FC Maritsa; O’Fallon, Ill.

Kentucky (1)
Ohio Valley Premier League (US Club Soccer)
Lexington Landsharks; Lexington, Ky.

Maryland (2)
Maryland Major Soccer League (Maryland State Soccer Assn./USASA)
Rockville Soccer Club; Gaithersburg, Md.

Washington Premier League (Maryland State Soccer Assn./USASA)
Aegean Hawks FC; Boyds, Md.

Massachusetts (3)
Bay State Soccer League (Massachusetts Adult State Soccer Assn./USASA)
Brockton FC United; Brockton, Mass.
Kendall Wanderers; Malden, Mass.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Unations FC; Marlborough, Mass.

New Jersey (3)
Garden State Soccer League (New Jersey Soccer Assn./USASA)
Jackson Lions FC; Jackson, N.J.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
EFA Metro; Clifton, N.J.
New Jersey Alliance FC; Clifton, N.J.

New York (6)
Eastern Premier Soccer League (USASA Region I)
New Amsterdam FC ll; Warwick, N.Y.
New York Greek American SC*; Bronx, N.Y.
New York Pancyprian Freedoms^/^^; Queens, N.Y.

Rochester District Soccer League (Western New York Soccer Assn./USASA)
IASC Boom; Irondequoit, N.Y.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Oyster Bay United FC; Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Westchester United F.C.; Yonkers, N.Y.

Nevada (2)
United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
BattleBornFC; Minden, Nev.
Villarreal Las Vegas; Las Vegas, Nev.

Pennsylvania (5)
United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Philadelphia Lone Star FC; Philadelphia, Pa.
Pittsburgh City United FC; Monroeville, Pa.

United Soccer League of Pennsylvania (Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Assn./USASA)
Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals**; North Wales, Pa.
United German Hungarians; Ambler, Pa.
Vereinigung Erzgebirge^^; Warminster, Pa.

South Carolina (1)
United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
South Carolina United Heat; Columbia, S.C.

Texas (6)
Dallas Soccer Alliance (U.S. Specialty Sports Assn.)
Lone Star Republic; Dallas, Texas

National Soccer League (U.S. Specialty Sports Assn.)
Athletic Katy FC; Katy, Texas
Houston Hotshots – GPFC; Katy, Texas
San Antonio Runners; San Antonio, Texas

The Roja League (US Club Soccer)
D’Feeters Kicks Soccer Club; Dallas, Texas

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Southwest Football Club; El Paso, Texas

Virginia (8)
Eastern Premier Soccer League (USASA Region I)
Nova FC; Leesburg, Va.
Virginia United FC^^; Woodbridge, Va.

United Premier Soccer League (U.S. Adult Soccer Assn.)
Lynchburg FC; Lynchburg, Va.

Woodbridge Soccer League (Asociacion Nacional Fútbol en USA)
Alianza Futbol Club; Woodbridge, Va.
C.A. United; Woodbridge, Va.
Corinto FC; Woodbridge, Va.
Springfield FC; Woodbridge, Va.
Toros FC; Woodbridge, Va.

* Four-time U.S. Open Cup Champion (1967-69, 1974)
^ Three-time U.S. Open Cup Champion (1980, 1982-83)
** Four-time U.S. Open Cup Champion (1960-61, 1963, 1966)
^^ Qualified for cancelled 2020 US Open Cup tournament

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