AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC will open the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament in May and in the Round of 32, the club announced Tuesday.
Verde and Black will play either May 9 or May 10 at a location to be determined against an opponent drawn April 27 after the third round is played April 25-26.
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The U.S. Open Cup tournament is the country’s longest-running soccer tournament, first contested in 1913-14 when a crowd of 10,000 watched the Brooklyn Field Club top Brooklyn Celtic 2-1 at Coates Field in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
For Austin FC, it’ll be their second time competing in what is now a 99-team field of teams from professional and semi-professional leagues across the country. Last year, Austin FC lost its first-ever U.S. Open Cup match to San Antonio FC 2-1. Austin FC entered the tournament in the third round last season, but due to its finish in the MLS standings last year, they’ll join in the fourth round, commonly called the Round of 32.
The club said it applied to host its first match and will be a regional matchup if possible to limit travel. Austin FC has to win five matches to hoist the trophy, which also gets them a spot in next year’s CONCACAF Champions League and $300,000.
Orlando City SC beat Sacramento Republic FC 3-0 in the championship game last year. The tournament wasn’t held in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MLS-era teams with the most U.S. Open Cup titles are the Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City with four cups each. Bethlehem Steel won five titles, the first in the tournament’s second year in 1914-15, and Maccabee Los Angeles notched five cups in a 9-year stretch from 1973-81.