Apr 30, 2013, 12:35 PM EDT
Wow. Is it that time of year again already?
That’s right folks buckle up for some cup upsets, because the Centennial edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will kick off on May 7.
The 68 teams that will participate in this seasons competition were released last night, as US Soccer’s oldest cup competition celebrates its 100th birthday.
16 teams from MLS will be joined by 6 from NASL and 12 from the USL Pro, along with other clubs across the nation who’ve qualified to compete for the prestigious trophy.
Interestingly enough, three U-23 MLS sides have qualified for the Open Cup proper, with the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers U-23 PDL sides advancing and the New York Red Bulls U-23 NPSL squad also making the cut.
MLS sides will join the competition in the third round, which is set for May 28.
Each season this competition gets overlooked by many, but is a truly unique trophy that reignites the romance of the game. And I love it.
Last year saw numerous upsets of MLS sides by lower-league opposition, with the US Open Cup generating a real feel good factor around the US soccer scene.
Who will go all the way this season and lift the title, let us know. I will be hoping a NASL or USL Pro outfit makes a strong charge, but it is hard to bet against the top MLS teams.
Maybe this is the New York Red Bulls year to finally grab a piece of silverware, with local hero Mike Petke at the helm, he will know how much this competition means. While reining champs Sporting KC are hard to look past and the Seattle Sounders will be eager to reach their fifth final in a row.
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