U.S. Soccer to Broadcast 'Game of the Round' During 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
U.S. Soccer will broadcast one match during each round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The "Game of the Round" will provide fans with the chance to watch a pre-selected match on ussoccer.com during the 101st edition of the tournament, which includes a record 80 teams.
The "Game of the Round" kicks off on May 7 with a Massachusetts matchup between amateur sides Mass Premier Soccer (U.S. Adult Soccer Association regional qualifier) and Western Mass. Pioneers (Premier Development League) at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Massachusetts. In the second round, ussoccer.com will air a Richmond, Virginia, derby when the Richmond Kickers (USL PRO) take on RVA FC (National Premier Soccer League) at Sports Backers Stadium. The matches for following rounds and the specific "Game of the Round" live stream will be announced at a later date.
Live Stream Schedule
|May 7||Mass Premier Soccer (USASA) at Western Mass. Pioneers (PDL)||7:30pm ET||Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.|
|May 14||Richmond Kickers (USL PRO) at RVA FC (Richmond Virginia FC) (NPSL)||7:00pm ET||Sports Backers Stadium; Richmond, Va.|
The expansion from 68 to 80 teams in this year's tournament field includes both the largest number of amateur teams (42) in the tournament proper - exceeding the previous record of 34 set last year - as well as the largest contingent of pro clubs (38, surpassing last year's record of 34), with all Division I, II and III professional sides participating for a third consecutive year. An additional record for the competition will see 24 second-round matches played, exceeding the previous high of 18 in a single round (2013 first round).
A new scheduling feature will provide many pro teams the opportunity to play an early-round Open Cup match on a weekend date (a first in the competition's modern era). This possibility for fourth round games June 14-15 is the result of a league break Division I (Major League Soccer) and II (North American Soccer League) clubs will take during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer's National Club Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 100 consecutive years dating from 1914. This year's winner will earn a berth into the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions' League, $250,000 in prize money and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will earn a $15,000 cash prize. D.C. United is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won its third tournament title (following triumphs in 1996 and 2008) after a tense 1-0 road victory over Real Salt Lake on Oct. 1, 2013. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
Tournament Format and Match Dates
The 2014 U.S. Open Cup will be conducted on a single-elimination, one-game-knockout basis utilizing a tiered-bracket format. Teams will be paired geographically. In the event that three or more teams are from the same proximity, pairings for these teams will be made by random selection. Pairings will be arranged to prevent the possibility of a lower division team playing a parent club (e.g. Portland Timbers U-23s [PDL] will not be pitted against the Portland Timbers [MLS], should both teams be in the competition in the same round) except for the Final.
• First Round-May 7 (16 amateur teams: 5 PDL, 4 USASA regional qualifiers, 5 NPSL, 1 US Club Soccer, 1 USSSA): Teams from the same qualifying pool cannot be paired with each other.
• Second Round-May 14 (8 First Round winners, 26 remaining amateur teams (14 PDL, 6 USASA regional qualifiers, 6 NPSL), and 14 Division III USL PRO clubs): Teams from the same qualifying pool cannot be paired with each other.
• Third Round-May 28 (24 Second Round winners and 8 Division II NASL clubs): Each Division II team will be matched geographically to play the winner of a specific Second Round pairing. The winners of the 16 remaining Second Round matches not paired with a Division II side will play each other.
• Fourth Round-June 10-18 (16 Third Round winners vs. Division I MLS clubs): Each Division I team will be matched geographically to play the winner of a specific Third Round pairing. The exact date for each match will be determined by the club selected as the home team from among those dates where the visiting team doesn't have a league game already scheduled. The date selected must allow the visiting team at least two rest days before and after the match date.
• Fifth Round-June 24-25 (16 Fourth Round winners face each other): Each Fourth Round pair will be matched geographically with another Fourth Round pair to determine the Fifth Round possibilities.
• Quarterfinal Round-July 8-9: Each Fifth Round pair will be matched geographically with another Fifth Round pair to determine the Quarterfinal Round possibilities.
• Semifinal Round-Aug. 12-13: Each Quarterfinal Round pair will be matched geographically with another Quarterfinal Round pair to determine the Semifinal Round possibilities.
• Final-Sept. 30-Oct. 1