Indiana’s Team to Enter US Soccer’s National Club Championship Tournament at Home vs. Michigan Stars FC
U.S. Soccer has announced the pairings and hosting scenarios for the Second Round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – U.S. Soccer’s National Championship. Twenty-four Division II and 22 Division III pro teams will see their first tournament action between April 4-6, joining 14 First Round winners in a Second Round that will feature 30 matches across the country.
Indy Eleven learned it will begin its run in the 108th edition of the tournament with a home contest at IUPUI Carroll Stadium against NISA side Michigan Stars FC. Date, kickoff time, and ticketing details surrounding the Second Round affair at “The Mike” will be announced in the coming weeks.
Click here for the full listing of Second Round fixtures at ussoccer.com.
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup returned with a memorable tournament in 2022. Indy Eleven will be searching for its fourth victory in LHUSOC play when it hosts MSFC, with its last triumph coming via a 1-0 Second Round win over Lansing Ignite FC of USL League One in 2019 at Butler University’s Sellick Bowl.
The 46 professional teams entering in the 2023 tournament’s Second Round include 24 from the USL Championship (Division II), including Indy Eleven, debutants Loudoun United FC, and last year’s Open Cup runners-up Sacramento Republic FC. There’s one representative from MLS NEXT Pro (Division III), nine from the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) (Division III) and 12 from USL League One (Division III). They’ll be joined in the Second Round by the 14 Open Division winners from the First Round, set for March 21-23. Match dates and times for all Second Round affairs will be announced at a later date.
Competition rules for the Second Round require First Round winners to be paired against either a Division II or Division III club. Additionally, the tournament has a universal provision to preclude teams from the same qualifying pool playing their first Open Cup game from facing each other. Each pro division is considered a unique qualifying pool regardless of the number of leagues in the division.
Pairings were made on a geographical basis within the parameters listed above. If three or more teams/pairings were from the same proximity, matchups for these teams were made by random selection. Instances where a logical geographic fit did not exist were resolved by random selection. Home teams for each round are determined by random selection among those who apply to host. Clubs whose venue meets minimum tournament standards are given priority.
Eighteen lower-seeded U.S.-based Division I Major League Soccer clubs will enter in the Third Round, which will be played April 25-26, while the remaining eight MLS sides will take the field in their first Open Cup action in the Round of 32 on May 9-10.
About the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Now in its 108th edition, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – U.S. Soccer’s National Championship – has crowned a champion since 1914 in every year except 2020 and 2021. The history-filled tournament is conducted on a single-game-knockout basis and open to all professional and amateur teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. In 1999, the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
The 2023 U.S. Open Cup winner will earn $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2024 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 permanent 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.
Orlando City SC are defending Open Cup champions, having earned the club’s first tournament title thanks to a 3-0 victory against second-division (USL Championship) side Sacramento Republic FC last September 7, in a Final played before a capacity crowd at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium.
usopencup.com is the official website of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Fans can also follow the competition on Twitter and Instagram @OpenCup and Facebook @OfficialOpenCup.