From an expanded tournament field to an equal opportunity to host matches, the 99th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup features an assortment of strategic changes as the competition begins first-round action on May 15.
This year's U.S. Open Cup includes a 64-team field, which represents the largest in the modern era (1995 to present), eclipsing the previous record of 42 teams set in 2005 and 2006. It also is the largest expansion of teams (24) from a previous year in the competition's recent history.
All Division I, II and III professional clubs will be participating in the tournament proper for the first time ever. The Division I field includes all 16 U.S.-based Major League Soccer teams, which is double the representation from the past five years and the first time since 2006 that all Division I teams will take part. Meanwhile, all six U.S.-based North American Soccer League teams (Division II) and all 10 U.S.-based USL PRO teams (Division III) will complete the balance of the 32 professional sides competing (also a modern record). This 2012 competition marks the first year that clubs representing the NASL will participate in America's oldest national soccer tournament.
2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
- May 15: First Round
- May 22: Second Round
- May 29: Third Round
- June 5: Fourth Round
- June 26: Quarterfinals
- July 10: Semifinals
- Aug. 7 or 8: Final
RSL History in Lamar Hunt U.S.Open Cup
Participating Professional Teams (32 total)
Major League Soccer (Division I - 16 teams): Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City
North American Soccer League (Division II - 6 teams): Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, NSC Minnesota Stars, San Antonio Scorpions, Tampa Bay Rowdies
USL PRO (Division III - 10 teams): Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, Orlando City, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Wilmington Hammerheads