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Open Cup expanded to record 64 teams
January 11th, 2012 9:19PM

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TAGS:  mls, nasl, us open cup, usl

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[DATEBOOK] The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has been expanded from 40 to 64 teams, making the 99th edition of the U.S. cup competition the largest in the modern era (1995 to present), eclipsing the previous record of 42 teams set in 2005 and 2006.

The tournament will include all six U.S.-based teams from the NASL. They were not included in last year's field as the Division II league did not receive sanctioning from U.S. Soccer until early in the new year.

The numbers work to create three stages of entry into the tournament. All 16 U.S. MLS teams will be exempt until the third round. The 16 other pro teams -- 10 from USL PRO and six from the NASL -- will enter in the second round.

The amateur entries will feature 32 teams from the USASA, PDL, NPSL and for the first time U.S. Club Soccer. PDL enjoyed a bump from nine to 16 entries, allowing each of the PDL teams to be separated in the first round and face one of teams from other amateur organizations.

The 2012 champion will earn a $100,000 cash prize, while the runner-up will collect $50,000. The top Division II, Division III and amateur clubs will each receive a $10,000 prize.

2012 Schedule:
April 29: Qualifying deadline
May 15: First Round
May 22: Second Round
May 29: Third Round
June 5: Fourth Round
June 26: Quarterfinals
July 10: Semifinals
Aug. 7 or 8: Final



1 comment
  1. John DiFiore
    commented on: January 14, 2012 at 10:54 p.m.
    "All 16 MLS team..." Arent there 19??


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