CHICAGO – (Thursday, January 31, 2019) – U.S. Soccer has finalized the format and schedule for the 106th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer's National Championship. The 2019 tournament kicks off May 7-8 with 19 First Round games and features a total of 84 teams from all levels, culminating in August with America’s soccer champion lifting the Open Cup trophy after eight rounds of single-elimination play.
The Kickers made history with their remarkable run to the semifinals in 2011. Becoming the first lower division team to
defeat back-to-back MLS teams on the road, the Kickers ejected the Columbus Crew in the third round before handing Sporting
Kansas City their first-ever loss at Sporting Park in the quarterfinals. Advancing to the semifinals for the second time in franchise history, the Kickers narrowly missed the
Championship berth, conceding a 1-2 loss to the Chicago Fire last August.
The Kickers claimed the U.S. Open Cup title the first year of the Professional Era in 1995 and have since made it to the quarterfinal round five times (1995, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2011) and the semifinal round twice (1995, 2011), ousting five Major League Soccer teams along the way, including Colorado Rapids in 2000, D.C. United in 2004, LA Galaxy in 2007 and Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City in 2011. With 86 total goals scored during the Open Cup, the Kickers have set several franchise records, as well as a Professional Era U.S. Open Cup record for most goals (12) during the 8-4 rout over the Ocean City Barons in 2005 and former Kickers midfielder and current head coach David Bulow is the tournament’s second all-time leading scorer with 14 goals.
A total of 32 Open Division squads (clubs from the National Premier Soccer League, USL League Two, those advancing from four rounds of local qualifying played between September 2018 and April 2019, and the 2018 U.S. Adult Soccer Association National Amateur Cup champion Bavarian SC from Milwaukee, Wis.) will enter First Round action in early May. They will be joined by the six eligible members of the newly-sanctioned Division III professional circuit, USL League One.
Twenty-five teams from the newly-renamed professional Division II USL Championship (formerly the United Soccer League) will take the field starting in the Second Round on May 14-15.
The Third Round takes place on May 29, and its winners will be joined by the 21 U.S.-based Division I Major League Soccer clubs in the Fourth Round on June 12.
In another indication of the unprecedented growth of professional soccer in the United States, 52 pro teams – a modern-era record (1995 to present) – will play in this year’s competition. The previous record was 47, set in 2015.
The 2019 U.S. Open Cup winner will earn $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League and have its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy – one of the oldest nationally-contested trophies in American team sports – now on display at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas. The runner-up will earn $100,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $25,000 cash prize.