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United Soccer League to Field 47 Clubs in the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

By Staff, 03/01/24, 1:00PM EST


USL Championship clubs to enter competition across Round 3 and the Round of 32; League One, League Two clubs to enter in Round 1, taking place March 19-21

TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League today confirmed that 47 USL teams will participate in the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, including all 36 USL men’s professional teams and the qualified 11 USL men’s pre-professional clubs. This follows U.S. Soccer’s announcement of the finalized format for the 109th edition of the tournament.

“The USL has supported the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for nearly 30 years, and we are proud to be part of it again in 2024,” said USL President Paul McDonough. “We applaud all the USL clubs who have decided to participate in this year's U.S. Open Cup, despite being handed the option to decline. We appreciate and share the fans’ passion for our country’s most historic and authentic competition, and we look forward to watching the drama unfold over the course of the tournament.”

The U.S. Open Cup is U.S. Soccer's club championship and has crowned a national champion annually since 1914 (with the exception of 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19). The historic tournament is conducted on a single-game, knockout basis and open to all professional and amateur teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. It is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States and the world's third-longest continuously run national cup tournament.

The First Round of the 2024 U.S. Open Cup will consist of 32 games with 32 amateur clubs from the Open Division meeting 32 professional teams from Division III.

USL League Two, part of the Open Division, will be represented by 11 clubs who qualified through their regular season performance in the 2023 season. USL League One, the preeminent Division III league in the country, will see all 12 clubs participate as part of the 32 professional teams in the First Round.

The 32 winners of the First Round will be paired up and face each other in the Second Round.

The 16 Second Round winners will then be matched up in the Third Round with 16 teams from the USL Championship, the top tier of the USL pyramid. These 16 USL Championship teams will be determined based on sporting merit through the USL Championship Players’ Shield standings. 

The eight Third Round winners will advance to the Round of 32, where they will square off against the remaining eight USL Championship teams, including defending league title-holders Phoenix Rising FC and Players’ Shield winners Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, and eight teams from Major League Soccer.

For a full list of the USL clubs participating and the schedule for the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition windows, please see below.

2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule

First Round: Tuesday, March 19 - Thursday, March 21
Second Round: Tuesday, April 2 - Wednesday, April 3
Third Round: Tuesday, April 16 - Wednesday, April 17
Round of 32: Tuesday, May 7 - Wednesday, May 8
Round of 16: Tuesday, May 21 - Wednesday, May 22
Quarterfinal: Tuesday, July 9 - Wednesday, July 10
Semifinal: Tuesday, Aug. 27 - Wednesday, Aug. 28
Final: Wednesday, Sept. 25

USL Championship

(All clubs. League champion (Phoenix Rising FC) and next seven best teams from 2023 Players’ Shield overall standings enter in the Round of 32)

Entering in Third Round Entering In Round of 32

Birmingham Legion FC

Charleston Battery
Detroit City FC Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC Orange County SC
Hartford Athletic Phoenix Rising FC
Indy Eleven Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Las Vegas Lights FC Sacramento Republic FC
Loudoun United FC San Antonio FC
Louisville City FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
Memphis 901 FC  
Miami FC  
Monterey Bay F.C.  
New Mexico United  
North Carolina FC  
Oakland Roots SC  
Rhode Island FC  
FC Tulsa  


USL League One

(All Clubs)

Entering in First Round  
Central Valley Fuego FC Forward Madison FC
Charlotte Independence Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Union Omaha
Greenville Triumph SC Richmond Kickers
One Knoxville SC South Georgia Tormenta FC
Lexington SC Spokane Velocity FC


USL League Two

(11 clubs based on 2023 league competition)

Entering in First Round  
Asheville City SC (North Carolina) Redlands FC (California)
Ballard FC (Washington) South Carolina United Bantams (South Carolina)
Brave SC (Formerly The Villages SC, Florida) Vermont Green FC (Vermont)
Chicago City SC (Illinois) Western Mass Pioneers (Massachussetts)
Des Moines Menace (Iowa) TBD (11th Team to Be Announced Later)
Hudson Valley Hammers (New York)  


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