2022 US Open Cup Qualifying: Next batch of matchups announced for Rounds 2, 3

Posted by | October 12, 2021
Players from Vereinigung Erzgebirge celebrate after scoring a goal against West Chester United in the 2020 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: Matt Ralph | Brotherly Game

Players from Vereinigung Erzgebirge celebrate after scoring a goal against West Chester United in the 2020 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: Matt Ralph | Brotherly Game

The October batch of games in the Open Division Local qualifying tournament for the 2022 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is fast approaching. In total, 31 games will kick off across the country this weekend between Oct. 16-17, reducing the current field of 63 down to 32.

The teams that are taking part in the competition are mostly amateur — although there are no rules limiting professional teams from participating. As of now the field contains representation from 14 different states and the District of Columbia (18 different leagues). For the sixth year in a row, the most represented league is the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL), which entered 30 teams to start and currently has 23 teams still active.

For 2022 qualifying US Soccer has slightly altered the way regional rounds are held. In previous years all teams compete in the same round across the country during the same window, with an example being that two teams from the northeast playing against one another are in the same round as two teams from the west coast playing against one another. While this was simple, issues arose when regions with less teams got to later rounds forcing long travel.

For a recent example, during the 2020 qualifying tournament, Michigan side Livonia City FC were forced to travel to Louisiana for their Third Qualifying Round draw against Louisiana Krewe FC.

To try and counter this, USSF has implemented individual regional rounds, meaning regions with higher team participation (Southeast & West) will go through four rounds of qualifying. Meanwhile, the other two regions (Northeast & Central) will only play three rounds of qualifying. The latter two regionals began last month in the “Second Qualifying Round” while the former two had four teams each begin in the “First Qualifying Round”. This weekend will be the subsequent qualifying round for each.

Last month’s round formatting was not the only confusion surrounding the tournament. Ahead of the first games US Soccer mandated that all teams register all rostered players, including both US Citizens and internationals. Normally this would not be an issue however the federation reportedly asked for almost all players that were previously accepted to be re-added and were particularly meticulous about the submission formats.

Multiple teams spoke to TheCup.us to voice frustration over the situation. Colorado Rush manager Joe Webb detailed that his team having multiple minors made registering more difficult. The tournament rules state that all adult roster members need to be SafeSport certified in order to be eligible to play but according to the team member the situation for minors was less than clear.

“If by some miracle of God we for thru this weekend then its possible I could get it done,” Webb said. “We have quite a few coaches and we are all SafeSport certified, (I’m) just not sure what it takes to get the others done.”

Rush lost to Colorado Super League rival Azteca FC, 4-1, with only ten players available for the match.

In another instance the Jackson Lions experienced a situation where two of its own players needed to be reclassified as amateur prior to his rescheduled match earlier this month. The two players previously played professionally for USL Championship sides in 2016 and 2018 respectively but had been approved to play in 2020 qualifying for the team. Lions owner Mike Durazzo was told he needed to get those teams to sign release forms in an email sent a few hours before his team’s game kicked off.

In total, five teams forfeited their qualifying matches, not including EFA Metro’s rescinded forfeit against Jackson Lions, breaking the previous record for most forfeits in a single round that was previously set in 2017 qualifying (4). The most forfeits in a single tournament is eight which was set during 2018 qualifying. Three of the teams that forfeited claimed their reason for doing so was because of registration issues, with EFA also claiming that before they successfully appealed and got their game rescheduled.

One additional team won’t be taking part in the qualifying tournament, but this one is due to league disputes. Miami Beach CF entered the tournament as a member of the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) but was removed on Sept. 16.

After speaking with sources from both sides the situation is as follows; Miami Beach CF competed in the UPSL in the 2021 Spring season and entered the qualifying tournament as a member of the league. During the year, the team jumped to the National Soccer League (NSL) but attempted to add a separate reserve (Under-23) team to the UPSL, which the league refused to allow. Therefore, the club was denied a spot in the US Open Cup qualifying tournament because they both switched leagues (first team) and were not in good standing in the UPSL (U-23s).

US Soccer therefore announced the City Soccer FC (Fla.) vs. Miami Sun FC (Fla.) First Round match would now be counted for the Second Round. Despite the federation claiming Miami “withdrew” from the tournament team CEO and founder Tony Lafrate vehemently refutes that wording.

“They kicked us out because I wanted to call the team Miami Beach Under 23,” Lafrate told TheCup.us. “It’s really sad. We’ve wanted to compete in [the US Open Cup] for three years and our players were very excited.” His team will continue to compete in the NSL and is looking forward to a possible 2023 qualifying campaign.

The number of slots (teams advancing to the tournament proper) for each region is as follows:

  • Northeast (32 clubs/4 slots available)
  • Southeast (18/2)
  • Central (16/2)
  • West (26/3)

The 11 advancing local qualifiers will join 2022 National Amateur Cup champion Lansdowne Yonkers FC in the first round proper. With this new information, TheCup.us is now projecting in the range of 30 to 32 Open Division slots. NPSL and USL League Two (USL2) are projected to receive either 9 or 10 slots depending on what the final total is.

30 Open Division slots:

  • 11 + 1 Local Qualifying
  • 9 NPSL
  • 9 USL2

31 Open Division slots:

  • 11 + 1 Local Qualifying
  • 10 NPSL
  • 9 USL2

32 Open Division slots:

  • 11 + 1 Local Qualifying
  • 10 NPSL
  • 10 USL2

The cancelled 2020 tournament had 38 Open Division slots. The continued expansion of MLS, both USL professional leagues, and NISA will end up bumping out some Open Division teams. This could potentially be fewer than the 32 Open Division slots for the 2019 US Open Cup. Any adjustments to the Open Division total slots will be adjusted in the NPSL and USL League Two pools. Local Qualifying pool is locked in to these 11 slots plus Lansdowne Yonkers’ berth. This will be finalized in early Jan. 2022 after the professional team entry deadline of Dec. 31.

The Open Division Local Qualifying tournament was launched in 2016 as an alternative to holding state and regional qualifying tournaments. 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.

Stay tuned to our social media feeds/website for updates.

The match-ups for the October round of the qualifying tournament are listed below:

2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – October Open Division Local Qualifying Schedule
All Times Eastern

Second Qualifying Round
Southeast Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
Oct. 16 Miami Soccer Academy (Fla.) vs. Naples City FC (Fla.) 7 p.m. Flamingo Park – Abel Holtz Stadium; Miami Beach, FL
Oct. 16 Georgia Revolution FC Reserves (Ga.) vs. Georgia Storm FC (Ga.) 7:30 p.m. Luella High School Stadium; Locust Grove, GA
Oct. 16 Orlando FC Wolves (Fla.) vs. Oceanway FC (Fla.) 7:30 p.m. East Orange District Park; Christmas, FL
Oct. 17 South Carolina United Heat (S.C.) vs. Atletico Atlanta (Ga.) 5 p.m. Southeastern Freight Lines Soccer Center; Columbia, SC
Oct. 17 Florida Brothers (Fla.) vs. Red Force FC (Fla.) 6 p.m. Dr. Lester B. Brown Park; Miami Gardens, FL
Oct. 17 Palm Beach Breakers (Fla.) vs. International Soccer Association (Fla.) 7 p.m. Lake Lytal Park; West Palm Beach, FL
Oct. 17 Florida Soccer Soldiers (Fla.) vs. Hurricane FC (Fla.) 8 p.m. Tropical Park Stadium; Miami, FL

(The originally scheduled First Qualifying Round match between City Soccer FC (Fla.) and Miami Sun FC (Fla.) from September 18, which City won, 3-2, was later reclassified as a “Second Qualifying Round” match due to Miami Beach CF’s removal from the tournament. Practically, this could be seen as a bye for City Soccer FC since their next qualifying match will be next month.)

West Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
Oct. 16 Modesto City FC (Calif.) vs. Contra Costa FC (Calif.) 4 p.m. The House Modesto; Modesto, CA
Oct. 16 Oakland Stompers (Calif.) vs. El Farolito (Calif.) 9 p.m. Burrell Field; San Leandro, CA
Oct. 16 JASA RWC (Calif.) vs. Metro FC (Calif.) 10:15 p.m. Red Morton Community Park – Bechet FIeld; Redwood City, CA
Oct. 17 BattleBorn FC (Nev.) vs. FC Davis (Calif.) 4 p.m. Douglas High School (Grass Field); Minden, NV
Oct. 17 Desert Communities SC Pathfinders (Calif.) vs. Villarreal Las Vegas (Nev.) 6 p.m. Helendale Community Park; Helendale, CA
Oct. 17 L.A. Monsters FC (Calif.) vs. Outbreak FC (Calif.) 6 p.m. Wilmington Athletic Complex; Wilmington, CA
Oct. 17 Chula Vista FC (Calif.) vs. White Tigers FC (Calif.) 6:30 p.m. Terra Nova Park; Chula Vista, CA
Oct. 17 Inter San Francisco (Calif.) vs. Real San Jose (Calif.) 8:15 p.m. Beach Chalet Fields (Field 4); San Francisco, CA
Oct. 17 Escondido FC (Calif.) vs. Rebels SC (Calif.) 9 p.m. Mount Miguel High School; Spring Valley, CA
Oct. 17 Sporting ID11 (Calif.) vs. Rose City FC (Calif.) 9 p.m. Lake Forest Sports Park (Turf Field A); Lake Forest, CA
Oct. 17 San Fernando Valley FC (Calif.) vs. Trojans FC (Calif.) 9:30 p.m. Sepulveda Basin Sports Complex; Los Angeles, CA
Oct. 17 Real Sociedad Royals (Calif.) vs. Capistrano FC (Calif.) 11 p.m. Orange County Great Park (Field 13); Irvine, CA

Second Round Byes: None

Third Qualifying Round
Northeast Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
Oct. 16 DC Cheddar (D.C.) vs. Districtonia Futbol (D.C.) 1:30 p.m. The Fields at RFK Campus (Field 3); Washington, D.C.
Oct. 16 Kendall Wanderers (Mass.) vs. Brockton FC United (Mass.) 2 p.m. James P. Falzone Memorial Park; Waltham, MA
Oct. 16 Westchester United FC (N.Y.) vs. Jackson Lions FC (N.J.) 5 p.m. Brewster HS; Brewster, NY
Oct. 16 Virginia United FC (Va.) vs. Nova FC (Va.) 7 p.m. George Hampton Middle School; Woodbridge, VA
Oct. 17 Rockville SC (Md.) vs. Lynchburg FC (Va.) 3 p.m. Laytonia Recreational Park (Turf Field); Gaithersburg, MD
Oct. 17 Philadelphia Lone Star FC (Pa.) vs. Vereinigung Erzgebirge (Pa.) 3:30 p.m. John Bartram HS Football Field; Philadelphia, PA
Oct. 17 IASC Boom (N.Y.) vs. FC Maritsa (Ill.) 5 p.m. East Rochester Public HS; East Rochester, NY
Oct. 17 NY Pancyprian Freedoms (N.Y.) vs. Oyster Bay United FC (N.Y.) 8 p.m. Belson Stadium (St. John’s Univ.); Queens, NY

Third Round Byes: None

Central Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
Oct. 16 Southwest FC (Texas) vs. Gam United FC (Colo.) 9 p.m. Eastside Sports Complex; El Paso, TX
Oct. 16 Harpos FC (Colo.) vs. Peak Eleven FC (Colo.) 9 p.m. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Field 8); Commerce City, CO
Oct. 16 Azteca FC (Colo.) vs. Colorado Rovers (Colo.) 9 p.m. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Field 10); Commerce City, CO
Oct. 17 D’Feeters Kicks SC (Texas) vs. Houston Hotshots (Texas) 4:45 p.m. Lake Ridge High School; Mansfield, Texas

Third Round Byes: None

Third Qualifying Round (Southeast, West), Fourth Qualifying Round (Central, Northeast): Nov. 20-21
Fourth Qualifying Round (Southeast, West): Dec. 18-19

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