U.S. Open Cup: Qualifying kicks off

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 a site to be determined. MLS: THE RAPIDS ARE IN Five of the MLS entrants have been determined. Chicago (1998 champion), Columbus (1998 finalist), Dallas (1997 champion) and D.C. United (1996 champion) received automatic berths. Colorado's April 17 match with Kansas City was designated as an Open Cup play-in match, and the Rapids' shootout victory puts them into the tournament. The winners of the May 15 MetroStars-Miami and Los Angeles-Tampa Bay matches will also advance to the Open Cup. The final spot will go to the play-in loser with the highest total of points in MLS play through June 1 (or by highest point-per-game average if the teams have not played an even number of games). San Jose and New England will not compete in the 1999 Open Cup. A-LEAGUE UPDATE The eight A-League entrants -- four from each conference -- will be determined by total regular-season points through the teams' first 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: Orange County 10 points; San Diego 9; Cincinnati, El Paso, Indiana, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, Tennessee 0 points. Eastern Conference Standings: Boston, Jacksonville 5 points; Atlanta 4; Charleston, Hampton Roads, Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Long Island, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Richmond, Rochester, Staten Island, Connecticut 0 points. D3 PRO LEAGUE UPDATE 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. 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 5 points; Carolina 4; South Carolina, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach 0. Mid-Atlantic Standings: Delaware, Eastern Shore, No, Virginia, Roanoke 0 points. New England Standings: Cape Cod, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Western Mass. 0 points. Northeast Standings: New Jersey, North Jersey, Reading, South Jersey 0 points. Pacific West Standings: Chico 7 points; Californie 6; Stanislaus County 5; Los Angeles 4; Arizona 0. South Central Standings: Houston 4 points; Austin, Texas, Tulsa 0. PDL UPDATE 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. 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: Central Florida 5 points; Brooklyn, Central Jersey, Clarksville, Cocoa, Jackson, Lexington, Miami B., New York, NY Capital District, Orlando, Vermont, Westchester, Bradenton 0 points. Central Conference Standings: Chicago, Colorado, Colorado Springs, Des Moines, Indiana, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Mid Michigan, Rockford, Sioux City, Twin Cities, West Michigan, Wisconsin 0 points. Western Conference Standings: Cascade, Central Coast, No, Nevada, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Spokane, Tucson, Willamette Valley, Yakima 0 points.
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