U.S. Open Cup: It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

May 7, 2019

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
The 106th U.S. Open Cup features 84 teams, ranging from local amateur clubs to MLS giants that battle it out for five months for a chance to be named champions of the United States.

The first round kicks off on May 7, featuring Open Division (amateur), USL League Two and One and NPSL teams. The USL Championship comes into the competition in the second round.

The MLS enters the competition in the fourth round before the competition then moves to the Round of 16, whittling its way all the way down to the championship match on August 27 or 28.

The winner of the U.S. Open Cup takes home a cash prize and earns an automatic berth into the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League.

The Miami FC’s fourth-ever U.S. Open Cup will be played on May 8 at 7 p.m. at Buccaneer Field at Barry University. The Florida Soccer Soldiers (UPSL) will travel to Buccaneer Field to take on Miami FC after defeating Hurricane FC 6-0 and having their Final Round opponent forfeit the match.

The winner of the match will move on to the Second Round for a clash with Charlotte Independence at the Sportsplex at Matthews in North Carolina.

Underdog Stories
While the MLS has dominated the tournament recently, the U.S. Open Cup has been a great platform for teams from other divisions to shine.

The greatest examples have been the USL’s Charleston Battery and Rochester Rhinos.

The Battery had a great run in the 2008 U.S. Open Cup making it all the way to the championship final. Charleston took down the Houston Dynamo in a barnburner 5-4 in the quarterfinals and were eventually edged by D.C. United 2-1.

1999 saw Rochester put together a historic run in the competition, ending with the Rhinos being the only non-MLS team to raise the U.S. Open Cup. Rochester would take down four MLS sides on its way to the championship, including shutouts of the Chicago Fire and the Colorado Rapids in the final.