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2021 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
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EPJr2 Offline
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2021 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
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U.S. Open Cup's First Round Canceled, Field Trimmed, Entrant Process Finalized

A year after being called off for the first time in more than a century, the U.S. Open Cup still is going ahead in 2021. But it’s not full-steam ahead, as the pandemic has wreaked further havoc on the schedule. The U.S. Soccer Federation announced Monday that due to travel and logistical complications, the first round of the already-abbreviated competition has been canceled. The May 4-5 matches were to comprise 16 clubs from the American game’s lower divisions.

That leaves 16 teams to vie for U.S. soccer’s oldest honor and a berth in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League. The entrants are now broken down as follows:

Division I - MLS (eight): Rather than use 2020 results, MLS announced Monday that every team will have a shot at playing in the 2021 Open Cup. The top eight USA-based teams in the points-per-game standings after three weekends of regular season play will qualify.

Division II - USL Championship (four): The four 2020 USL Championship semifinalists will qualify: El Paso Locomotive, Louisville City, Phoenix Rising and Tampa Bay Rowdies. Last year’s USL final between Phoenix and Tampa Bay was canceled.

Division III - USL League One and NISA (two): 2020 League One champion Greenville Triumph and NISA 2020 fall champion Detroit City will qualify.

Open Division (two): On April 7, the USSF will draw two teams from among the 36 eligible amateur qualifiers for the canceled 2020 Open Cup, which came from USL League Two, the NPSL and local amateur playoffs. A pot of four teams will be created from 10 eligible League Two clubs, 13 eligible NPSL clubs, 12 eligible amateur clubs and 2019 National Amateur Cup winner Newtown (Conn.) Pride. The two Open Cup participants then will be drawn from that pot of four

03-29-2021 01:45 PM
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