September 16, 2015
OPENING THINGS UP
US Soccer awards open division slots for 2016 Open Cup
CHICAGO - Five New England teams, three from Massachusetts and one each from Connecticut and Rhode Island, have received Open Division berths in the 2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
A total of thirty-six Open Cup slots have been awarded to teams competing through the Open Division (the track involving all teams other than Division I, II and III professional clubs). The final number, which could be higher, will be confirmed in early January pending the number of Division I, II and III clubs in place for 2016.
The local teams that have entered the tournament are Newtown Pride FC (Sandy Hook, Conn.), Battery Park Gunners (Roxbury, Mass.), Global Premier Soccer (GPS) Omens (Wayland, Mass.), Worcester FC (Auburn, Mass.) and Newport FC (Portsmouth, R.I.).
The 36 slots are comprised of eight places for local qualifying teams (out of 56 entrants), 15 berths for Premier Development League teams (out of 57 entrants) and 13 slots for National Premier Soccer League teams (out of 68 entrants). The 36 teams advancing will enter the 2016 Open Cup in the first round, scheduled for May 11.
The match-ups for the 56 local teams competing in the first qualifying round, scheduled for Oct. 17-18 and Oct. 24-25, and the bracket for the second qualifying round, set for Nov. 14-15 and Nov. 21-22, will be announced on Monday, Sept. 21. Teams from 16 states and 25 leagues have entered the Open Division local qualifying track in the first year of the new qualifying process conducted by U.S. Soccer.
The PDL and NPSL, as national leagues, were each given the option and elected to bypass the local qualifying process, instead using 2015 league results to determine their entrants to the 2016 Open Cup tournament.