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February 17, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Structure, schedule for 98th U.S. Open Cup announced

Here’s a link to the full press release if you want a further breakdown of each round. Sounders FC is one of six teams that automatically qualifies through to the third round (like last year) based on last year’s MLS finish and will play on June 28. Seattle is also the two-time reigning champion and could be the first team in 40+ years to win three in a row.

All the game in the single-elimination tournament will be played on Tuesdays. The winner gets $100,000, the runner-up cashes in $50,000. More details below:

* * *

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

* * *

Participating Teams

(due to issues with sanctioning that were resolved recently, no second-division teams from the NASL are included)

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.

Automatic Qualifiers (6 berths): Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders

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.

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