CARSON, Calif. – U.S. Soccer announced the format for the 105th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday.
The tournament begins on May 9 and will feature 94 participating clubs from across all levels of American soccer. The tournament will feature a bracket and eight rounds of single-elimination play. The champion will be crowned in late September.
Major League Soccer teams will enter the tournament in the fourth round in early June. According to USSF, the fourth round will now be made by random draw after dividing teams geographically into groups of four and drawing matchups within each group. Each Fourth Round group will have at least one and no more than two Third Round winners, with pairs drawn so that each Third Round winner faces an MLS team.
The Galaxy’s regional group is as follows: FC Golden State, LAFC, LA Maquina, LA Wolves FC, Orange County SC, and Santa Ana Winds FC.
The winner of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup will receive $300,000, with the runner-up earning $100,00, and the team who advances the farthest in each lower division will earn $25,000. U.S. Soccer has also increased the levels of travel reimbursement and the size of the traveling party eligible for reimbursement for all competition rounds.
As in 2017, all professional clubs owned or controlled by higher division professional clubs (such as LA Galaxy II) are prohibited from competition.
The complete schedule can be found below:
First Round – May 9
Second Round – May 16
Third Round – May 23
Fourth Round – June 6*
Round of 16 – June 20* (also June 16-17 if home team chooses and visiting team has at least two rest days on each side of chosen date)
Quarterfinals – July 18*
Semifinals – August 8* (date tentative)
Final – September 26 (date tentative)