Because the NASL is not playing in 2018, they were denied entry as Pro League teams. The entry deadline had passed for them to enter as NPSL teams in the Open Division. Open Cup rules, though, granted the Open Cup Committee the authority to make exceptions.
“This is a victory for our fans,” said New York Cosmos and NASL chairman Rocco Commisso. “I said that I would continue to fight for the Cosmos and for independent soccer. This is a win off the field and now we have a chance to win on it.”
The three teams have until Monday afternoon to confirm their participation. They will play play-in games against teams that have already qualified in a play-in round on May 5-6, and the winners will advance to the first round on May 9.
The play-in opponents (two from the PDL and one from the NPSL) will be selected by random drawing from teams that are in close geographical proximity to the invited teams.
Open Cup Committee statement:
"The Committee carefully considered the teams' exceptional situation which involved all three moving from Professional Division II status in 2017 to solely Open Division league participation earlier this year. Since the move occurred after the Open Division league's 2018 Open Cup entry deadline in mid-2017, the Committee decided to allow the three teams the opportunity to compete in the 2018 edition of the U.S. Open Cup."