U.S. Soccer announced the competition format on Thursday for the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. All U.S.-based Major League Soccer clubs will enter this year’s tournament during the fourth round, to be held June 10-18.
The 101st edition of the tournament will kick off on May 7 and will be conducted on a single-elimination, one-game-knockout basis through the final on Sept. 30 or Oct. 1. This year’s competition features the largest field in the tournament’s modern era (1995-present) with 80 teams.
There are NO Missouri teams this year but that should change in 2015. The full list of participants this year can be found on the USL PRO website.
Amateur teams will account for 42 of the 80 entries and will enter the competition in the first two rounds. The remaining 38 representatives encompass Division I, Division II and Division III professional clubs, who will enter in the second (USL PRO), third (NASL) and fourth (MLS) rounds.
Teams will be paired geographically via the following format:
First Round: May 7 (16 amateur teams: 5 PDL, 4 USASA regional qualifiers, 5 NPSL, 1 US Club Soccer, 1 USSSA)
Second Round: May 14 (8 First Round winners, 26 remaining amateur teams [14 PDL, 6 USASA regional qualifiers, 6 NPSL], and 14 Division III [USL PRO] clubs)
Third Round: May 28 (24 Second Round winners and 8 Division II [NASL] clubs). Each Division II team will be matched geographically to play the winner of a specific Second Round pairing. The winners of the 16 remaining Second Round matches not paired with a Division II side will play each other.
Fourth Round: June 10-18 (16 Third Round winners vs. Division I [MLS] clubs). Each Division I team will be matched geographically to play the winner of a specific Third Round pairing.
Fifth Round: June 24-25 (16 Fourth Round winners face each other). Each Fourth Round pair will be matched geographically with another Fourth Round pair to determine the Fifth Round possibilities.
Quarterfinal (Sixth) Round: July 8-9. Each Fifth Round pair will be matched geographically with another Fifth Round pair to determine the Quarterfinal Round possibilities.
Semifinal Round: Aug. 12-13. Each Quarterfinal Round pair will be matched geographically with another Quarterfinal Round pair to determine the Semifinal Round possibilities.
Final: Sept. 30-Oct. 1
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Club Championship and is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 100 consecutive years dating back to 1914 and Sporting Kansas City has twice claimed the tournament title (2004, 2012).
The 2014 winner will earn $250,000 and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will earn a $15,000 cash prize.