US Open Cup Qualification Complete, First Round Begins June 15th

CHICAGO (June 2, 2010) – U.S. Soccer has announced the groupings for the first two rounds of the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which kicks off with first-round matches on Tuesday, June 15, around the country.

All 32 lower division teams will enter the tournament in the first round. First-round pairings were determined by dividing the clubs geographically into eight groups of four, with match-ups within each group determined by random draw.

June 15 – Kansas City Athletics (USASA) at NSC Minnesota Stars (D2) – 7 pm at National Sports Center; Blaine, MN
June 15 – AC St. Louis (D2) at Des Moines Menace (PDL) – 7:30 pm at Valley Stadium; West Des Moines, IA

The KC Athletics, who participate in the US Adult Soccer league, advanced with their win over the AAC Eagles from Chicago on May 16th. The game was played following the Wizards match against the Chicago Fire.

The Des Moines Menace represent the PDL Heartland Conference, moving on to their 5th appearance in the national tournament after the Brass did them a favor by tying the Rochester Thunder last weekend. The Demize finished last in the group. The Menace share a record (with the Carolina Dynamo) for the furthest advancement by a PDL team, making it to the Fourth Round in 2005.

In the second round on June 22, the 16 first-round winners will face off, with eight victors moving into the third round to square off against eight Major League Soccer teams.

The third round will take place June 29, with the quarterfinals set for July 6-7, the semifinals on Aug. 31-Sept. 1 and the final slated for Oct. 5.

Of the 17 amateur division teams representing the U.S. Adult Soccer Association regional qualifiers and the Premier Development League, only the Arizona Sahuaros (USASA) are returning for their second consecutive U.S. Open Cup. The Sahuaros have qualified for four of the last five U.S. Open Cups, the best record of any amateur team during that span. This year’s participants also include the Sonoma County Sol of the National Premier Soccer League (an affiliate of the USASA), who qualified for the first round by virtue of winning a play-in match against PSA Los Gatos Storm, a club affiliated with U.S. Club Soccer (a member organization of U.S. Soccer).

Within the U.S. Open Cup framework, teams compete in one of the following four categories: professional outdoor Division I (Major League Soccer), Division II (USSF D-2 Pro League) or Division III (USL Second Division), or Amateur Division. In recent years, the Amateur Division has been comprised of the USL Premier Development League and regional qualifiers from the U.S. Adult Soccer Association.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which is recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 95 consecutive years dating back to 1914.

The U.S. Open Cup is a single-elimination tournament, with games tied after regulation being decided in two 15-minute overtime halves. If the score is still tied after overtime, the winner is decided in a penalty kick shootout. The team that advances the furthest from each level except Division I will earn a $10,000 cash prize. The runner-up will take home $50,000, while the champion will collect $100,000. In addition, the winner will have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, the oldest trophy competed for nationally in American team sports. best escort service nyc