So you want to play in the US Open Cup…

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ENTRY PHASE FOR OPEN DIVISION LOCAL QUALIFYING FOR 2017 U.S. OPEN CUP NOW UNDERWAY

CHICAGO (May 11, 2016) – U.S. Soccer has announced that the application process for entering Open Division local qualifying for the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer’s annual national club championship open to all member amateur and professional soccer teams, is now underway. The entry deadline for local qualifying is Aug. 1, 2016, at 2 p.m. CT.

The 2017 qualifying process was first introduced for the 2016 competition, with 56 teams entering from 16 different states and 25 different leagues. Fourteen local qualifiers survived to reach the first round of the 2016 Open Cup, scheduled to take place later today.

Any team outside of the national amateur leagues (National Premier Soccer League and Premier Development League) or the professional leagues from Division I (Major League Soccer), Division II (North American Soccer League), or Division III (United Soccer League) who belongs to a club or league of any Organization Member of U.S. Soccer, competes in a league with at least four teams where each team plays at least ten league games during the year and meets further criteria as spelled out in Section 202 of the Open Cup Policy may enter Open Division local qualifying. Entry is done by submitting an application form and entry fee to U.S. Soccer headquarters.

After certifying a team’s eligibility to participate, U.S. Soccer will process rosters for approval, arrange matches, appoint match commissioners and officiating crews, administer discipline, promote the games in advance and their results afterwards, and provide a clear link to the final tournament, which will begin in mid-May 2017.

Open Division local qualifying will be conducted on a single-game, knockout basis, with matches scheduled for pre-determined weekend dates (up to three rounds in Fall 2016 and two in Spring 2017). All entrants, regardless of level, Organization Member affiliation, or other attributes, will start on equal footing and must be able to host games in every qualifying round. Matches will be determined geographically to minimize travel time and expense, with random selection used when practicable to determine exact pairings. Home teams will be determined by coin flip and will be responsible for arranging the field of play, game balls, paying the officials, and other expense relating to staging games, while each visiting team will cover its own travel-related costs. U.S. Soccer shall appoint the match officials.

The National Premier Soccer League and Premier Development League, both national amateur leagues, have elected to use the Open Division National Leagues track to qualifying. Both circuits will use 2016 league results to determine their clubs advancing to the Open Cup tournament proper, thus bypassing the local qualifying process.

The preliminary number of slots to the 2017 tournament proper allocated to teams from Open Division local qualifying and national leagues will be announced on Aug. 8, 2016, after the local qualifying entry deadline.

2017 U.S. Open Cup Open Division Competition Calendar

KEY DATES IN 2016:

Thursday, June 30 (2 p.m. CT) -Team Entry & Information Form deadline and Entry Fee deadline for Open Division teams in national leagues using 2016 league results to determine their qualifiers

Monday, Aug. 1 (2 p.m. CT) – Team Entry & Information Form deadline and Entry Fee deadline for teams participating through the Open Division local qualifying track

Friday, Aug. 5 (2 p.m. CT) – Venue Declaration Form deadline and Home Game Application deadline for first three qualifying rounds

Monday, Aug. 8 – Preliminary allocation determined for Open Division slots into 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Monday, Aug. 15 – Matchups for first qualifying round and bracket for second and third qualifying rounds announced

Monday, Aug. 22 (4 p.m. CT) – Fall roster submission deadline for teams participating through the Open Division local qualifying track (22 player limit, no additions allowed after the deadline)

Friday, Sept. 2 (4 p.m. CT) – Roster approval/clearance deadline for first qualifying round (players must be approved by their team’s league and cleared by U.S. Soccer to play)

Sept. 10 – Sept. 11 – First qualifying round for teams in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states

Sept. 17 – Sept. 18 – First qualifying round for teams in all other states

Friday, Oct. 7 (4 p.m. CT) – Roster approval/clearance deadline for second and third qualifying rounds

Oct. 15 – Oct. 16 – Second qualifying round for teams in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states

Oct. 22 – Oct. 23 – Second qualifying round for teams in all other states

Nov. 19 – Nov. 20 – Third qualifying round for all teams

Friday, Dec. 30 – Team Entry & Information Form deadline and Entry Fee deadline for teams in Division I, II and III professional leagues

KEY DATES IN 2017:

January date TBD – Final allocation determined for Open Division slots into 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Wednesday, Jan. 4 (2 p.m. CT) – Home Game Application deadline for fourth and fifth qualifying rounds

January date TBD – Matchups for fourth qualifying round and bracket for fifth qualifying round announced

Monday, Feb. 27 (4 p.m. CT) – Spring roster submission deadline for teams still alive through the Open Division local qualifying track (teams may add up to five new players to their Fall roster who are not already cup-tied; 22 player limit remains)

Friday, March 3 (4 p.m. CT) – Spring roster approval/clearance deadline for Open Division local qualifiers (rosters for these teams will be frozen through June 30 to include the opening rounds of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup)

March 11 – March 12 – Fourth qualifying round

Wednesday, March 22 – Venue Declaration Form deadline for teams wishing to host games in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Friday, March 31 (2 p.m. CT) – Home Game Application deadline for First, Second and Third Rounds of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

April 8 – April 9 – Fifth qualifying round

Wednesday, April 12 – 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup First Round pairings and Second Round possible matchups announced

Wednesday, April 26 – Deadline for teams entering at First Round (not including Open Division local qualifiers) to submit initial roster

Wednesday, May 10 – 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup First Round (date tentative); Dates for remaining rounds of the competition and deadlines to apply to host in these rounds will be determined by January 2017

July 1 – July 14 (4 p.m. CT) – Summer roster changeover period for Open Division local qualifiers still in the competition (teams may add up to five new players to their Spring roster who are not already cup-tied; 22 player limit remains)

 

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