May 3, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT
The first and second rounds of the 99th U.S. Open Cup are set.
The 64-team field is split evenly between 32 professional squads (16 MLS, 6 NASL, and 16 USL PRO) and 32 amateur clubs from all parts of the country. The 2012 event, by far the largest ever, marks the first time all Division I, II and III professional clubs are participating in the tournament.
Every amateur teams start play on May 15. The winners advancing to the second round on May 22, where notable matches include Gale Agbossoumonde’s Carolina Railhawks taking on either USASA Region IV Club or the Portland Timbers U-23s and the 1995 champion Richmond Kickers battling the Carolina Dynamo or the Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC.
Major League Soccer teams enter the action in the third round, which takes place on May 29 with the fourth round set for the following week.
The quarterfinals are set for June 26, the semifinals for July 10, and the final for Aug. 7 or 8.
Last year, the Seattle Sounders defeated the Chicago Fire 2-0 at CenturyLink Field. Osvaldo Alonso, remarkably starting in his fourth consecutive U.S. Open Cup Final, sealed the match in the 96th minute.
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