U.S. Soccer Announces 2011 US Open Cup Structure

128px LHUSOpenCupLogo U.S. Soccer Announces 2011 US Open Cup Structure

Just after US Soccer announced the return of the provisional sanctioning of division two to the NASL and suspended them for US Open Cup play this season on Valentine’s Day, three days later Soccer House in Chicago announced the structure and schedule for the 2011 edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

Once again the setup has remained the same with thirty-two bids in the first round as eleven of them have been given automatically to the third division sides of USL-Pro and the rest of them being fought for as qualifiers for the Premier Development League (PDL), US Adult Soccer Association (USASA) and for the first time ever for the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). They will earn their own four places instead of being a part of the USASA in their regional tournament qualifiers.

All round one winners will face each other in round two proper and then advance into round three to face eight Major League Soccer sides. Currently six of the eighteen have won their automatic bids making the top six of the eight team playoffs from last year. Those clubs are defending back to back champions Seattle Sounders, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake. Once again the rest of Major League Soccer will be fighting it out against each other to qualify for two spots in the third round.

The schedule for this year’s US Open Cup is a little bit better than last year…

Everything was so close together from round 1 proper until the quarterfinals, but finally there is some breathing room. Round 1 will be played on Tuesday, June 14, then round 2 the week after on June 21st, then round 3 the week after on June 28th. The Quarterfinals are played on July 12th, then the Semi-Finals on August 30th. With World Cup Qualifying starting early and the CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage games filling up the calendar in September, the US Open Cup Final will be played on Tuesday October 4th.

So once again round 1 proper will consist of eleven American USL Pro sides who will get automatic bids (Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, FC New York, Orlando City S.C., Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos and Wilmington Hammerheads), eight region sides from the USASA, nine sides from the PDL and four sides from the NPSL.

Wait one second. Did I just type nine PDL sides? Why yes I did. When US Soccer announced their structure they said that the PDL this season will have nine sides entering round 1 proper. Currently there are only four conferences with two divisions each in the PDL, how will they create a third division to have those nine sides enter round 1? I guess we will have to wait for the PDL Schedule to come out and get the answer.

So after finding out on Valentine’s Day about the suspension of the five American NASL teams, but three days later hearing that those spots in round 1 will be given to more amateur sides is not so bad. But once again the US Club National Championship has been announced and get ready for some fireworks starting on Tuesday, June 14th which by the way is the day after the group matches of the 2011 Gold Cup.

2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Schedule

Round 1: Tuesday, June 14th
Round 2: Tuesday, June 21st
Round 3: Tuesday, June 28th
Quarterfinals: Tuesday, July 12th
Semi-Finals: Tuesday, August 30th
US Open Cup Championship Final: Tuesday, October 4th

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14 Responses to U.S. Soccer Announces 2011 US Open Cup Structure

  1. Charles says:

    I saw that in the Seattle Times. 9 PDL teams. They can narrow that down to 4 to let in 5 teams ?
    Something is VERY bizarre about this.

    • unknown says:

      PDL had just announced the 2011 alignment and there will be 9 divisions for this year. So 9 division, 9 teams, 0 problem

  2. Charles says:

    Please call it the Lamar Hunt USOC. It is disgusting having to read the comments of the ungreatful MLS haters who almost certainly don’t know who he is.

    Maybe one of them will Wiki him ? Hopefully.
    (Doubt they are even reading your post as they don’t follow US Soccer much….but if they do.)

    Oh yeah.
    Peeeeeeeeeaat !

    Only the long running Greek American has done it ( 1967-69 ) before.
    Seeaaaaaaatle Soooooouuuuuunders !

  3. Tom says:

    Abit harsh that the Colorado Rapids, current MLS Cup champions, don’t get an automatic spot.

  4. Adam says:

    It is a great diservice to this tournement that every game is not televised either online or on fsc. This is where FSC is a joke. They could play all the premier league stuff, champions league, and still have room to show multiple MLS games and tournements like the open cup. Pathetic in my book and worthy of a red card. Same thing with the concacaf chapions league why is every game not available live online or on tv in hd?

    Huge growth potential in this country being wasted by not spotlighting anything domestic.

    I love the EPL and Champions League, I live in detroit and can more easily root for a epl team because I have no other sports bias, but I want MLS to flourish so that one day I may have a team here besides a PDL side.

    I pay 70 a year for MLSLive and would gladly pay a little more to get all open cup and concacaf champions league games streamed or on tv.

    • Alan says:

      FSC is such a bias channel, even to its own programming. They flat-out root for EPL sides, even in CL games. Thats all they care about. Its pretty pathetic. I’m not against them showing EPL, CL, etc, but they have plenty of room for MLS, NASL, the Open Cup, etc if they have Football Superstar and crap like that. AT LEAST MLSLive could offer it online. Something.

  5. Dave C says:

    Once again, Feurstein does for the English language what Frankenstein did for medical science.
    You should post a link to whever the USSF announced the structure, because reading this article is like reading dutch.

  6. Heimdall says:

    I don’t like ten MLS teams playing in for two spots. Rosters are deeper so the MLS teams should be integrated earlier. If the MLS teams don’t bid high enough for home games then that’s their choice. Most of the fun is seeing the MLS vs LD matchups.

  7. EPL is better says:

    Hey Adam, CCL games are streamed for FREE at concacafchampions.com. Go check it out. Plus, they are shown on Galavision.

    As far as the USOC, it’s ridiculous that 5 of the strongest teams are out, while more amatuers are in. WTF!?! F that. I won’t watch. I’ll stick to EPL, which is at an ALL TIME HIGH in popularity right now. EPL is where it’s at, and will only steal more fans from all this mickeymouse nonsense that goes on in this country. Every year the US fed shoots themselves in the foot. Retarded playoff formats, CCL failures, sanctioning failures, and now USOC failures. That’s the last straw. Only English football for me from now on. And I hope Fox only shows the English game. Prem, Championship, FA Cup, Carling, etc is any fan needs. usa football is not worth the time.

    • Charles says:

      Thanks for the link, that is very cool you can get those games.

      You can leave now, go watch Man U win the league ( ooops didn’t mean to spoil the ending ) you served your purpose.

      In all seriousness thanks…and bye.

  8. unknown says:

    Unless all US-based MLS teams (and now US-based NASL teams) are given automatic spots, I would not call it the US Open Cup. For 10+ years MLS teams HAD TO QUALIFY for the Cup. WTF? Now there might be two play-in games before the first round of qualifying. This is beyond ridiculous.

  9. JB says:

    It seems that most people here are not aware that the USOC is not directly affiiliated with the MLS. It is not a cup version of the MLS, it is exactly what is states. An open cup that any team in the USA can enter. I think automatic qualificaitons are bull, every team should have to build from the ground up in an open cup.

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