The 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup will commence on June 14 this year with 16 first-round games.
Five rounds of play precede the October 4 final that will decide the US Soccer national club championship which has been won by Seattle Sounders in the last two years.
155 teams have entered the competition beginning in the initial stages and will be narrowed to 40 teams for the tournament proper by the May 30 qualifying deadline. In 2011, 19 professional teams – including eight from Major League Soccer – and 21 amateur teams will make up the field.
The first and second rounds will be made up of exclusively lower division and amateur teams and will be played on June 14 and June 21, respectively, with eight teams advancing to play eight MLS teams on June 28 in the third round.
The quarter-finals will be played on July 12 and the semifinals will be played on Aug. 30. All 2011 US Open Cup matches are scheduled to be played on Tuesdays.
2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
May 30: Qualifying Deadline
June 14: First Round (32 teams from USL PRO and Amateur Division)
June 21: Second Round (First round winners)
June 28: Third Round (Second round winners paired against eight MLS teams)
July 12: Quarterfinals
Aug. 30: Semifinals
Oct. 4: Final
Major League Soccer (Division I – 8 teams)
Six automatic qualifiers based on the 2010 regular season standings and two qualifiers from a play-in competition that features 10 teams.
Play-in Qualifiers (2 berths)
Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, D.C. United, Houston Dynamo, New England Revolution, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting Kansas City
United Soccer Leagues PRO (Division III – 11 teams)
All U.S.-based clubs automatically qualify.
Automatic Qualifiers (11 berths)
Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, FC New York, Orlando City, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Wilmington Hammerheads
United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (Amateur – 9 teams)
The top U.S.-based clu b from each of nine PDL divisions will qualify based on the results of four pre-selected 2011 regular season games. Each of the 54 teams eligible will play two home and two away matches that will serve as qualifiers.
U.S. Adult Soccer Association (Amateur – 8 teams)
The first and second place teams from each of the four U.S. Soccer regions will advance to the tournament. Approximately 50 teams entered qualifying at the local or state level.
National Premier Soccer League (Amateur – 4 teams)
The process for determining NPSL qualifying teams will be announced in the coming weeks. The 36-team national amateur league is affiliated with the USASA. In previous years its teams participated via USASA regional qualifying.