The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the latest soccer competition that's moving to ESPN+, ESPN's direct-to-consumer sports streaming service.
U.S. Soccer and ESPN reached a four-year
agreement to have all matches, beginning with the first round and through the final, air on ESPN+. The agreement gives ESPN+ rights in all languages.
The 2019 U.S. Open Cup kicks off May
7-8 with the first round featuring 38 amateur and Division III professional teams. The final six teams will be determined from Open Division qualifying this weekend. (Those matches won't air on
Twenty-five Division II pro teams from the USL Championship will enter in the second round on May 14-15. The 21 U.S.-based MLS teams will enter in the fourth round on June 12.
“The U.S.Open Cup is America’s version of what is truly unique about soccer around the world -- knockout format club tournaments that invite the ‘Davids’ and the
‘Goliaths’ from all levels of the sport to compete against one another to determine the nation’s top team,” said Burke Magnus
, ESPN's executive vice president,
programming and scheduling. “This exciting property joins a robust collection of soccer’s best domestic cup competitions on ESPN+.”
The 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
final aired on ESPN2 and UDN. Earlier rounds were available on U.S. Soccer's YouTube channel.