CHICAGO (May 26, 2011) – Sporting Kansas City became the final Major League Soccer team to qualify for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 5-0 victory against the New England Revolution last night at Blue Valley District Athletic Complex in Overland Park, Kan. The 98th edition of this tournament begins June 14 with 16 first round games.
Six MLS teams automatically qualified to the U.S. Open Cup based on last year’s league position. These teams include the Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, New York Red Bulls, FC Dallas, Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders. The Chicago Fire also earned a berth to the Open Cup on Tuesday evening (May 24) by defeating the San Jose Earthquakes in penalty kicks. The eight MLS teams will join the tournament in the Third Round.
United Soccer League's Pro League, the USL's Premier Development League, the National Premier Soccer League, and the United States Adult Soccer Association each have their own separate qualification process, and some teams have already booked a place in the Open Cup (see a full list of teams below). Qualifying for the remaining 11 slots will be completed by May 30, and first round pairings will be announced May 31.
All 11 U.S.-based teams in the USL Pro League automatically qualified for the tournament, which include the Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, F.C. New York, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, Orlando City, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos and Wilmington Hammerheads.
The first and second rounds of the tournament are made up of exclusively lower division and amateur teams, with eight teams advancing to play the eight MLS teams on June 28 in the third round. The quarterfinals will be played on July 12 and the semifinals will be played on August 30. All U.S. Open Cup matches are scheduled to be played on Tuesdays.
The two-time defending champion Seattle Sounders will be the first team since 1984 with a chance to win three consecutive U.S. Open Cup titles. The New York Greek-Americans (1967-69) was the only other team to accomplish this feat. This year’s final match will take place on October 4.
Here is a list of the qualified teams as of today (Thursday, May 26):
|Sporting Kansas City||MLS|
|Chivas El Paso Patriots||PDL Mid South Division|
|Reading United A.C.||PDL Mid Atlantic Division|
|Hollywood United||NPSL West Conference|
|Madison 56ers||NPSL Midwest Conference|
|Doxa Italia||USASA-Calif. South|
|DV8 Defenders||USASA-Calif. North|
|New York Pancyprian Freedoms||USASA-Eastern N.Y.|
|Phoenix SC||USASA-Eastern P.A.|