As the 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup came to a conclusion on Tuesday, with Atlanta United taking its first-ever Cup, beating Minnesota 2-1 — the qualifying tournament for next year’s Open Cup was also announced this week.
On Monday, United States Soccer Federation announced the first round match-ups for next month’s Open Division Local qualifying tournament for the 2020 US Open Cup with not one, but two local amateur clubs entering the fray.
It will be a return to the qualifying stages for Tartan Devils Oak Avalon, who will try to make it to the proper tournament for the first time since their run in 2017. The Tartan Devils are currently the five-time defending Greater Pittsburgh Soccer League champions, and in this year’s qualifying will take on Steel Pulse FC, a club based out of Maryland.
On the other hand, a relatively new club that competes against the Tartan Devils in GPSL, Steel FC, will be one of the 89 teams in the qualifying tournament too. They will host UPSL team Germantown City FC, who also are from Maryland
Formed in 2015, Steel F.C. started as a Miners Division team but quickly advanced to the Champions Division which they would go on to win in 2017. Now as a top competitor in the Premier Division, they’re pushing the Tartan Devils for the GPSL title this season (though Tartan Devils beat them 1-0 on June 9).
Out of the 89 teams that registered to take part, five of them received byes into the second round, leaving 84 teams, including Tartan Devils and Steel FC, to play 42 games over the weekend of Sept. 21-22.
Dates, times and venues for each game will be announced at a later date.
The teams that are taking part in the competition are mostly amateur — although there are no rules limiting professional teams from participating — and represent 18 different states and the District of Columbia (21 different state soccer associations).
The teams will represent 18 different states and the District of Columbia (21 different state associations) and will feature teams from 26 different leagues. For the fifth year in a row, the most represented league is the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) which entered 33 teams, which is two fewer than the 35 they entered in last year’s competition, and six fewer than the 39 that participated in the 2018 qualifying tournament.
The Open Division Local Qualifying tournament was launched in 2016 as an alternative to holding state and regional qualifying tournaments. Now, all teams from any US Soccer-affiliated leagues just need to register. The competition begins in the fall and all entrants are divided up regionally to minimize travel, with the teams that advance the furthest qualifying for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup which will begin in the spring. The number of teams that will qualify for the tournament, and the number of rounds that will be required, is yet to be determined as it will depend on the number of professional teams that will take part in the 107th edition of the Open Cup next year.
Of the 89 teams, 53 of the teams have competed in the Open Division tournament before, leaving 36 new teams — including Steel FC.
One team has already punched their ticket into the 2020 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Newtown Pride FC won the 2019 USASA Amateur Cup championship which earned them an automatic berth into next year’s Open Cup. The Connecticut-based club has qualified for the first time after being unsuccessful each year since 2013 to qualify, finally getting over the hump.
(Special thanks to Josh Hakala/thecup.us for contributing to this report)
The match-ups for the opening round of the qualifying tournament are listed below
EAST REGION (DC/Md./Va./W.Pa.)
Doradus FC vs. Alianza Futbol Club
Christos FC & Virginia United receive byes
Federal City Wanderers vs. Izee Auto FC
SOCA vs. World Class Premier Elite FC
FC Millenium International vs. CD Huateras
Steel Pulse FC vs. Tartan Devils Oak Avalon
Steel FC vs. Germantown City FC
EAST REGION (Philadelphia area)
United German Hungarians receives a bye
Danubia Swabian vs. West Chester United
Ukrainian Nationals vs. Vereinigung Erzgebirge
EAST REGION (NY/NJ area)
CSA Westchester vs. Jackson Lions FC
New York Pancyprian Freedoms receives a bye
Clifton Elite FC vs. Lansdowne Yonkers FC
EAST REGION (Boston area)
Kendall Wanderers vs. Safira FC
Juve-Pro Soccer vs. Brockton FC United
WEST REGION (other)
San Juan FC vs. IPS/Marathon Taverna
Real San Jose vs. Outbreak FC
Chula Vista FC vs. Rebels Soccer Club
WEST REGION (Southern Calif.)
Quickening vs. Cal FC
Oxnard Guerreros FC vs. Santa Monica United FC
L.A. Monsters FC vs. Valley United SC
USA Soccer Stars FC vs. Alta California Sol
Newport FC vs. SC Trojans FC
WEST REGION (Northern Calif.)
Oakland Stompers vs. Contra Costa FC
Academica SC vs. PV United
JASA RWC vs. Olympic Club
WEST REGION (Colorado)
Colorado Rush vs. Club El Azul
Athletic Club of Sloan’s Lake vs. Azteca FC
Logroñes Denver Soccer Club vs. Colorado Rovers
FC Denver vs. FC Boulder Harpos
Gam United FC vs. FC Union Jerez
CENTRAL REGION (Other Areas)
Athletic Katy FC vs. Houston FC
Louisiana Krewe FC vs. Northshore United
Club ATLetic vs. Georgia Revolution FC Reserves
Charleston United vs. Soda City Sorinex FC
Springfield FC vs. Nashville United
CENTRAL REGION (Florida)
Deportivo Lake Mary vs. Orlando FC Wolves
Atletico Miami CF vs. Miami United FC U23
Florida Soccer Soldiers vs. Red Force FC
Hurricane FC vs. International Soccer Association
CENTRAL REGION (Central Texas)
Coyotes FC vs. San Antonio Runners
Celtic Cowboys Premier vs. Central Texas Lobos
CENTRAL REGION (Dallas area)
Lone Star Republic vs. Inocentes Futbol Club
NTX Rayados vs. FC Fort Worth Soccer Club
CENTRAL REGION (Michigan)
Ann Arbor FC receives a bye
Livonia City FC vs. Wayne County Sporting