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U.S. OPEN CUP

February 17, 2011
NEED TO QUALIFY
Revs will have to play-in for an Open Cup spot


CHICAGO---The New England Revolution will have to go through qualifying rounds in order to gain a berth in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday morning. Six teams in MLS automatically qualify for the tournament, while then others must play-in for two additional spots.

The six teams that are automatically qualified are the Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders, who will participate in the 98th edition of the Open Cup.


The Cup will kick off on June 14 with 16-first-round matches. The final is scheduled for Oct. 4.

The round of qualify must be ended by May 30. The eight MLS teams, then join the tournament for the third round on June 28.

A total of 19 professional teams and 21 amateur teams will make up the field.

The first and second rounds will be made up of exclusively lower division 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 are set for Aug. 30. All Open Cup matches are scheduled to be played on Tuesdays.

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. Former U.S. national coach Alkis Panagoulias directed those teams.

The U.S. Open Cup is a single-elimination tournament, with games tied after regulation extended by two 15-minute extratime periods. If a winner is not determined in overtime, advancement will be determined by penalty kicks.

The champion will earn a $100,000 cash prize, while the runner-up will collect $50,000. The top Division III and Amateur Division clubs will each receive a $10,000 prize. No Division II teams will participate in the Cup as the North American Soccer League did not obtain provisional sanctioning in time to be included.

The 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

Participating Teams

MLS (Division I 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

United Soccer Leagues PRO (Division III 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

United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (amateur 9 teams): The top U.S.-based clu b 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.

U.S. Adult Soccer Association (amateur 8 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.

National Premier Soccer League (amateur 4 teams): The process for determining NPSL qualifying teams will be announced in the coming weeks. The 36-team national amateur league is affiliated with the USASA. In previous years its teams participated via USASA regional qualifying.

   
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