Stars Clinch 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Berth

Philadelphia Lone Star FC has been awarded a berth to compete in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer announced today.

The Stars are one of the 14 National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) clubs to qualify for this prestigious cup competition in the United States which began in 1914.

The Stars had a phenomenal season in the NPSL last year, finishing as regular season runners-up in the Keystone Conference with an 8-2-0 (W-L-D) record and qualifying for the conference playoffs where they lost in the semi-finals in penalties. The Stars were also ranked sixth nationally amongst the 98 NPSL clubs during the regular season.

The Stars will join 31 other amateur squads (clubs from the NPSL, USL League Two, those advancing from the local qualifiers, and the 2018 USASA National Amateur Cup champion Bavarian SC) and six eligible clubs of the newly-sanctioned Division III professional circuit, USL League One in First Round action on Tuesday or Wednesday, May 7th or May 8th.

“We are so excited that we will be playing in this year’s U.S. Open Cup,” Philadelphia Lone Star FC head coach Fatoma Turay said. “This is the direct result of our performance last season and I’m thankful to my other coaches Thomas George, Winston Neewray, Neewilli Saie, and Charlie Flowe as well as all the players who competed with us last year! We can’t wait to see who we will be drawn against and we hope to compete in this prestigious tournament every year.”

The Stars made their first appearance in the U.S. Open Cup in 2017, losing 3-1 away to the Ocean City Nor’easters in the first round.

“We are excited to be back in the U.S. Open Cup,” said Philadelphia Lone Star FC Executive Director Paul Konneh. “This tournament gives our players the opportunity to compete against pro teams and will give them that exposure to coaches from those pro teams. We can’t wait to see how our players will be tested against some of the best amateur and pro sides in the country!”

The 2019 U.S. Open Cup winner will earn $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2020 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 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.

The Houston Dynamo is the defending Open Cup champion, having earned the club’s first tournament title thanks to a 3-0 victory against the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 26, 2018, at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule, Format and Other Key Dates:

Fourth Qualifying Round – April 6 & 7

First Round Pairings Announced – April 10

Second Round Pairings & Possible Pairings Announced – April 17

First Round – May 7 & 8*

  • Number of Games: 19
  • Participants: 32 Open Division teams and six Division III (USL League One) clubs
  • Competition: Teams will be paired geographically with the restriction that teams from the same qualifying pool (i.e. local qualifiers, NPSL, USL League Two, USL League One) cannot be paired to play each other. The restriction may be disregarded if doing so avoids extensive travel on balance for the participating teams.

Second Round – May 14 & 15*

  • Number of Games: 22
  • Participants: 19 First Round winners and 25 Division II (USL Championship) clubs
  • Competition: After the First Round pairings are made, each pairing will be matched geographically to a specific Division II team, with the First Round winner playing the assigned Division II side. The six remaining Division II squads will be paired to play each other, with these pairings also made geographically.

Third Round – May 29*

  • Number of Games: 11
  • Participants: 22 Second Round winners play each other
  • Competition: After each Second Round matchup has been determined, the Second Round pairs will be bracketed geographically to create the Third Round matchups, with the Second Round winners playing each other.

Fourth Round Draw – May 30

  • The 11 Third Round winners and 21 Division I (Major League Soccer) clubs will be divided geographically into eight groups of four, with teams who are precluded from playing each other until the Final per tournament regulations (i.e. pro teams and their affiliated Open Division sides) placed in different groups. Each group will have at least one and no more than two Third Round winners, with pairs drawn randomly but done so that each Third Round winner faces an MLS team.

Fourth Round – June 12*

  • Number of Games: 16
  • Participants: 11 Third Round winners and 21 Division I (MLS) clubs.
  • Competition: Eleven games will be between Third Round winners and MLS teams, while the remaining five matchups will be MLS vs. MLS affairs.

Round of 16 Draw – June 13

  • The Fourth Round winners will be divided geographically (regardless of league affiliation) into groups of four, with teams who are precluded from playing each other until the Final per tournament regulations (i.e. pro teams and their affiliated Open Division sides) placed in different groups. A random draw will determine the pairings within each group, resulting in a fixed bracket for the remainder of the tournament. Should a precluded pair of teams reach the Semifinal Round and be scheduled to face each other, the matches will be re-drawn after the Quarterfinal Round to avoid this outcome.

Round of 16 – June 19* (also June 18-23 if home team chooses and visiting team has at least three non-game days on each side of chosen date, with any overlap of U.S. MNT Gold Cup games on June 18 and June 22 disallowed)

  • Number of Games: 8
  • Competition: Fourth Round winners face each other as determined by the Round of 16 Draw.

Quarterfinals – July 10*

Draw to Determine Hosts for Semifinals and Final – July 11

Semifinals – August 7*

Final – August 27 or 28

* Any game from the Fourth Round through to the Semifinal Round where one of the participants has a league game the following Friday will be moved up a day (exception to this occurs when the team’s opponent is scheduled for a league game the preceding Sunday; in this case, the provisions in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Handbook to determine the match date will prevail). In addition, any game chosen by U.S. Soccer to be broadcast nationally in any round is subject to being moved up a day. The Commissioner has the authority to set outside of the confirmed schedule the date for any match if such a change is in the best interests of the tournament.

2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Participating Teams

Professional Division Teams Eligible to Participate (52 total):

Division I – Major League Soccer (21 teams, entering in the Fourth Round): Atlanta United FC, Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, D.C. United, FC Cincinnati, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo (defending Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champions), Los Angeles FC, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United FC, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City

Division II – USL Championship (25 teams, entering in the Second Round): Austin Bold FC, Birmingham Legion FC, Charleston Battery, Charlotte Independence, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, El Paso Locomotive FC, Fresno FC, Hartford Athletic, Indy Eleven, Las Vegas Lights FC, Louisville City FC, Memphis 901 FC, Nashville SC, New Mexico United, North Carolina FC, OKC Energy FC, Orange County SC, Phoenix Rising FC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, Reno 1868 FC, Sacramento Republic FC, Saint Louis FC, San Antonio FC, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Tulsa Roughnecks FC

Division III – USL League One (6 teams, entering in the First Round): Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, Forward Madison FC, Greenville Triumph SC, Lansing Ignite FC, Richmond Kickers, South Georgia Tormenta FC

Open Division Teams in Tournament Proper (32 total, all entering in the First Round):

Local Qualifiers (winners of seven Fourth Qualifying Round games):

Northeast Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
April 6 Safira FC (Mass.) vs. West Chester Predators (Pa.) 6 p.m. ET Dilboy Stadium; Somerville, Mass.

Mid-Atlantic Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
April 7 Virginia United (Va.) vs. World Class Premier Elite FC (Md.) 4 p.m. ET Howison Homestead Soccer Complex – Field 3; Woodbridge, Va.

Southeast Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
April 7 Florida Soccer Soldiers (Fla.) vs. America Soccer Club (Fla.) 4 p.m. ET Tropical Park; Miami, Fla.

Central Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
April 6 NTX Rayados* (Texas) vs. FC Maritsa (Mo.) 7 p.m. CT Mountain View College (Stadium Field); Dallas, Texas

Mountain Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
April 6 Southwest FC (Texas) vs. FC Denver* (Colo.) 7:30 p.m. MT Pebble Hills High School; El Paso, Texas

Southern California Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
April 6 Santa Ana Winds FC* (Calif.) vs. Cal FC (Calif.) 7 p.m. PT Lake Forest Sports Park – Field A; Lake Forest, Calif.

West Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Time Venue
April 6 Academica SC (Calif.) vs. IPS/Marathon Taverna (Ore.) 7 p.m. PT Academica Fields – East Field; Turlock, Calif.

2018 U.S. Adult Soccer Association National Amateur Cup champion: Bavarian SC (Wis.)

National Premier Soccer League (14 teams, listed alphabetically): AFC Ann Arbor (Mich.)*, Duluth FC* (Minn.), El Farolito (Calif.), Erie Commodores FC (Pa.)*, FC Baltimore (Md.), FC Motown (N.J.)*, FCM Portland (Ore.), Laredo Heat SC (Texas), Little Rock Rangers (Ark.), Miami FC (Fla.)*~, Midland-Odessa Sockers FC (Texas)*, New York Cosmos B (N.Y.)*, Orange County FC (Calif.)*, Philadelphia Lone Star FC^ (Pa.). The NPSL is a nationwide league affiliated with the U.S. Adult Soccer Association and opted to use 2018 league results to determine its qualifiers for the 2019 Open Cup.

USL League Two (10 teams, listed alphabetically): Black Rock FC (Conn.), Brazos Valley Cavalry FC (Texas), Dayton Dutch Lions (Ohio), Des Moines Menace (Iowa), FC Golden State Force (Calif.)*, Lakeland Tropics (Fla.)*, New York Red Bulls U23*, Reading United AC (Pa.)*, South Georgia Tormenta FC 2*!, The Villages SC (Fla.)*. USL League Two (formerly called the Premier Development League) is a nationwide league affiliated with U.S. Soccer and opted to use 2018 league results to determine its qualifiers for the 2019 Open Cup.

* Participated in 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

~ Known in 2018 as Miami FC 2

^ Known in 2018 as Junior Lone Star FC

! Known in 2018 as South Georgia Tormenta FC

About the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
In its 106th year, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – U.S. Soccer’s National Championship – has crowned a champion annually since 1914. 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 competition was renamed to honor United States soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.

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