2011 U.S. Open Cup Schedule Announced
The 2011 edition of the U.S. Open Cup will get underway on June 14 with 16 first-round games. Five rounds of play precede the Oct. 4 final. The more than 155 teams that entered the competition beginning in the initial stages will be narrowed to 40 teams for the tournament proper by the May 30 qualifying deadline.
The first and second rounds will be made up of USL PRO and amateur teams and will be played on June 14 and June 21, respectively, with eight teams advancing to play 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 Aug. 30. All 2011 U.S. Open Cup matches will be played on Tuesdays.
The tournament has crowned a champion for 97 consecutive years beginning in 1914. Every winning team’s name is engraved on the base of the Dewar Challenge Trophy, which dates to the first year of the tournament and currently resides at U.S. Soccer House in Chicago.
The two-time defending champion Seattle Sounders will enter the tournament in the third round and will be the first team since 1984 with a chance of winning three consecutive U.S. Open Cup titles. The New York Greek-Americans (1967-69) were the only other team to accomplish this feat.
Like recent editions, the U.S. Open Cup is a single-elimination tournament, with games tied after regulation extended by two 15-minute overtime halves. If a winner is not determined in overtime, advancement will be determined by kicks from the penalty spot.
The 2011 champion will earn $100,000 cash, while the runner-up will collect $50,000. The top USL PRO and amateur clubs will each receive a $10,000 prize. No Division II teams will participate in the 2011 U.S. Open Cup.
2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
May 30: Qualifying Deadline
June 14: First Round (32 teams from USL PRO and Amateur Division)
June 21: Second Round (First round winners)
June 28: Third Round (Second round winners paired against eight MLS teams)
July 12: Quarterfinals
Aug. 30: Semifinals
Oct. 4: Final
Major League Soccer (8 teams):
Six automatic qualifiers based on the 2010 regular season standings and two qualifiers from a play-in competition that features 10 teams.
Automatic Qualifiers (6 berths):
Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders
Play-in Qualifiers (2 berths):
Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, D.C. United, Houston Dynamo, New England Revolution, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting Kansas City
USL PRO (11 teams):
All U.S.-based clubs automatically qualify.
Automatic Qualifiers (11 berths): Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, FC New York, Orlando City, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Wilmington Hammerheads
USL PDL (9 teams):
The top U.S.-based club from each of nine PDL divisions will qualify based on the results of four pre-selected 2011 regular season games. Each of the 54 teams eligible will play two home and two away matches that will serve as qualifiers.
USASA (12 teams):
The first and second place teams from each of the four U.S. Soccer regions will advance to the tournament. Approximately 50 teams entered qualifying at the local or state level. A seperate process for determining NPSL qualifying teams will be announced in the coming weeks.