US Open Cup to feature every US MLS club, bigger prize purse

John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

MLS Clubs will enter the tournament on May 28th, with the final to be played in October. The LA Galaxy have not made it past the quarterfinals in six years with a couple of third round exits.

US Soccer announced today that the 100th rendition of the US Open Cup during the 100th anniversary of the US Soccer Federation will feature increased prize money and a record number of participating teams. 68 teams will compete in this year's tournament with a $250,000 on the line for the Cup winner.

The LA Galaxy have won the US Open Cup twice, their last win in 2005. LA was last a runner up in 2006. Since then the Galaxy have not made it past the quarterfinals, most recently losing to the Carolina Railhawks in the third round 2-1.

68 is an increase from the 64 that participated last year, which makes it the largest field since the launch of MLS. It's also the second straight year that all three tiers of American soccer will be represented with 16 MLS teams (every MLS team save the three Canadian clubs), 6 NASL teams, and 12 USL Pro teams taking part in the tournament.

The tournament winner will get the aforementioned $250,000, with the runner up getting $60,000. The team that advances the furthest from each lower division will get $15,000.

Also changed is the bidding process. No longer will teams bid for the chance to host the semi-finals and finals of the tournament. Instead a coin flip will decide who hosts each semi-final and the final. The rest of the matches during the tournament will be decided by random selection.

The rest of the field is completed by amateur teams, 16 from the Premier Development League, 8 from US Adult Soccer Association, eight from National Premier Soccer League, one from US Club Soccer, and one from US Specialty Sports Association.

MLS sides enter in the third round, which begins on May 28th. Each MLS participant will be paired with a winner from the second round. The final will take place on either October 1st or 2nd.

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