U.S. Open Cup: Qualifying Update (May 21)

Qualifying is underway to determine the 32 teams that will compete in the 1999 U.S. Open Cup, which begins in June. The format will be similar to last year, with eight D3 Pro League teams squaring off against four PDL and four USASA teams in the first round, which is set for June 9-13. The eight winners will face eight A-League teams in the second round, to be played June 23-27. Eight MLS clubs will enter in the third round, meeting the eight second-round winners over the weekend of July 12-14. Quarterfinals are set for Aug. 11-12, with the semifinals to follow on Sept. 1 and the championship to be held Sept. 14 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Here's a look at how qualifying is going in each division of play: MLS All but one of the eight MLS entrants have been determined. Chicago (1998 champion), Columbus (1998 finalist), Dallas (1997 champion) and D.C. United (1996 champion) received automatic berths. Colorado, Tampa Bay and the MetroStars won play-in games to qualify for the Open Cup. The final berth will go to the play-in match loser (Kansas City, Los Angeles or Miami) with the highest total points in MLS play through June 1 (or the highest point-per-game average if the teams have not played an even number of games). Los Angeles presently leads with six points, while Miami has five and Kansas City three. San Jose and New England will not compete in the 1999 Open Cup. A-LEAGUE The eight A-League entrants -- four from each conference -- will be determined by total regular-season points through the teams' first six games. The San Diego Flash has become the first A-League team to clinch a berth in the Open Cup, earning 21 points from its six games. 4 points are awarded for a regulation or overtime win, 2 points for a shootout win, 1 point for a shootout loss and a bonus point is awarded if a team scores three or more goals. Canadian teams Vancouver and Toronto are not eligible to play in the U.S. Open Cup, nor is U.S. Pro-40. Western Conference Standings: *(San Diego) 21 points; Minnesota 17; *Orange County 16; Seattle 13; *Indiana 12; El Paso 9; San Francisco Bay, *New Orleans 8; Milwaukee 7; *Tennessee 5; Cincinnati 4; Sacramento 0. Eastern Conference Standings: Charleston 19 points; *Jacksonville 18, Rochester, Long Island, Staten Island 13; Raleigh 11; Boston 10; Hampton Roads 9; Atlanta, Richmond 8; Lehigh Valley 6; *Connecticut, Pittsburgh 5; Hershey 2; Maryland 0. *-denotes a team that has played all six qualifying matches. (Teams in parentheses have qualified for the Open Cup.) D3 PRO LEAGUE In the D3 Pro League, the 26 teams have been broken into six regional groups, with each club competing within its group. The six group winners, along with two wild cards, advance. Six teams have clinched Open Cup berths as qualifying heads into its final weekend: Austin (South Central group), Chico (Pacific West), New Jersey (Northeast), Northern Virginia (Mid-Atlantic) and Wilmington (Atlantic) have won their qualifying groups, and Arizona (Pacific West) has clinched one of the two wild-card spots for the best runners-up. D3 teams receive 4 points for a regulation win, 3 points for an overtime win, 2 points for a shootout win and one point for a shootout loss, with a bonus point awarded if a team scores three or more goals. Atlantic Standings: *Wilmington, Carolina 13 points; Charlotte 8; Myrtle Beach 5; South Carolina 0. Mid-Atlantic Standings: *No. Virginia 13 points; Roanoke 9; Delaware 7; Eastern Shore 3. New England Standings: Western Mass. 9 points; Cape Cod 8; Rhode Island 7; New Hampshire 5. Northeast Standings: *New Jersey 18 points; South Jersey 5; Reading, North Jersey 4. Pacific West Standings: *Chico 17 points; *Arizona 13; California 10; Stanislaus County 5; Los Angeles 0. South Central Standings: *Austin 13 points; Texas 11; Houston 8; Tulsa 0. *-clinched Open Cup berth. PDL PDL teams have been broken into three regional divisions, where each club will play four qualifying matches. The three group winners and the best overall second-place team advance. The four regional USASA champions round out the field. The Spokane Shadow, which won all of its qualifying matches, has clinched first place in the Western Conference and the PDL's first Open Cup berth. As in the D3 Pro League, PDL teams get 4 points for a regulation win, 3 points for an overtime win, 2 points for a shootout win and 1 point for a shootout loss, with teams receiving a bonus point for scoring three or more goals in a game. Eastern Conference Standings: Cocoa 15 points; Central Florida 14; New York 13; Westchester 10; Jackson, Brooklyn 9; Clarksville 7; Bradenton, Vermont 5; Miami B. 3; Miami T., N.Y. Capital Dist. 2; Central Jersey, Lexington 1. Central Conference Standings: Colorado 14 points; Chicago 11; Mid Michigan, Des Moines 10; Sioux City 9; Wisconsin 6; Twin Cities, Kalamazoo, Rockford 5; Colo. Springs 2; Kansas City, West Michigan, Indiana 0. Western Conference Standings: *Spokane 14 points; Silicon Valley 14; Tucson 13; Seattle, San Fernando Valley, Nevada 9; Yakima 7; Cascade 6; Central Coast 5; Willamette Valley 2; San Gabriel Valley 1. *-clinched Open Cup berth. USASA The U.S. Amateur Soccer Association divides the country into four regions, loosely categorized as Eastern (Region I), Midwest (Region II), South (Region III), and West (Region IV). Each state holds a Men's Open Cup and declares a winner. The winners from each state meet in a regional tournament, and these four regional champions go on to play in Round One of the U.S. Open Cup, pitted against four D3 professional teams.

Region I

QUARTERFINALS May 2 -- German-Hungarians (Pa.) 4 Vistula SC (N.J.) 2, Jerry D's (Md.) 5 Zorba FC (Va.) 4. SEMIFINALS May 16 -- German-Hungarians (Pa.) 5 Jerry D's (Md.) 3, WNY United (N.Y.) 0 Olympia Stamford (Conn.) 5. FINAL May 23 -- Olympia Stamford (Conn.) vs. German-Hungarians (Pa.).

Region II

SEMIFINALS May 16 -- Bavarian Leinenkugel (Wisc.) 2 Chicago Schwaben (Ill.) 1, PNA (Mo.) def. Cleveland Kickers (Ohio) by walkover. May 23 -- Bavarian Leinenkugel (Wisc.) vs. PNA (Mo.).

Region III

SEMIFINALS May 29 -- Guadalajara (Tenn.) vs. Uruguay FC (Fla.), Los Lobos (Okla.) vs. McAllen Sun Devils (Texas), at Montgomery, Ala. FINAL May 30 -- Semifinal winners, at Montgomery, Ala.

Region IV

SEMIFINALS May 22 -- Atotonilco (Calif.-S) vs. Seleccion Phoenix (Ariz.), Colorado Springs Brewmen (Colo.) vs. Mexico SC (Calif.-N), at Pomona, Calif. FINAL May 23 -- Semifinal winners, at Pomona, Calif.
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