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Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Explained

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Built on Tradition

The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, also known as US Open Cup for short, is the United State’s oldest soccer competition. 100 of the best American soccer clubs compete for the cup, which has been running since 1913. This upcoming Lamar Hunt US Open Cup will be the 108th iteration of the competition.

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The most elite cup in the United States Soccer Competition Pyramid is undoubtedly the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

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Current Format

The teams that make up the cup competition are all the professional teams in the United States – those from MLS, USL Championship, USL League One, NISA, and development or amateur teams that qualified by winning their respective regional cups and qualification matches.

The cup is played throughout the year in a single-leg knockout format (also called single-elimination format) leading up to the final where the two remaining teams play a single match to determine the champion.

Qualification

There are two paths to qualify for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup: the professional and amateur paths.

Professional Path

All professional teams automatically qualify for the cup and make up the bulk of the clubs that compete for this title.

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qualifies

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Cup Awards and Prize Money

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  • The runner-up is awarded $100,000
  • To promote development, the highest-placed team from each lower division is awarded $25,000

Modern Game

Since the creation of Major League Soccer in 1996, only 1 non-MLS club has won the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup: Rochester Rhinos. Additionally, only 1 non-MLS club has made it to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup finals since. However, as the beautiful game continues to grow in the United States, the lower division level is getting better and will predictably mount a title challenge in the future.

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US Open Cup Champions in the MLS Era

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