Before CITY2 travels East to face Indy Eleven on Tuesday, let’s chat about the tournament this match is a part of, the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
What is the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup?
The United States Soccer Federation changed the name of its oldest competition, the U.S. Open Cup, to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 1999 after the Major League Soccer owner and American soccer pioneer. It is a knockout cup competition in American soccer that has crowned a champion annually from 1914 to 2019, with a hiatus for the last two years due to the pandemic. Returning for its 107th edition, the U.S. Open Cup is open to all professional and amateur teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer, making it the only high-profile competition in American team sports where amateur sides can face professionals in meaningful competition.
What’s St. Louis’ relationship with the U.S. Open Cup?
The connection between St. Louis and the U.S. Open Cup began more than a century ago and is bound by 10 championship titles. Ben Millers became the first St. Louis-based team to win the tournament in 1920 after defeating Fore River Rovers of Quincy, Massachusetts. The winning team, composed entirely of St. Louis-based players, also reached the U.S. Open Cup Final in 1926. Various St. Louis sides have gone on to win the cup since Ben Millers’ inaugural achievement including, St. Louis Scullins Steel (1922), St. Louis Stix, Baer & Fuller F.C. (1933, 1943), St. Louis Central Breweries (1935), St. Louis Simpkins-Ford (1948, 1950), St. Louis Kutis SC (1957, 1986), St. Louis Busch Seniors (1988).
St. Louis returned to the U.S. Open Cup competition in 2015 thanks to United Soccer League’s Saint Louis FC, whose home turf was St. Louis Soccer Park. In their inaugural season, STLFC reached the Fourth Round of the tournament after beating MLS side Minnesota United in front of its home crowd of 6,200. STLFC was given another shot in 2017 but fell short in the Fourth Round again, this time to MLS’s Chicago Fire. STLFC would get its revenge in 2019 — the most recent U.S. Open Cup — with a 2-1 victory over the Windy City in the Fourth Round. After upsetting another MLS team (FC Cincinnati), STLFC advanced to the Quarterfinals. Though they didn’t make it onto the Semifinals, it was another chapter for St. Louis written in the U.S Open Cup history book.
St Louis CITY2 looks to build upon that legacy and make a mark in that same history book this year. St. Louis will once again be represented in the U.S. Open Cup when CITY2 faces Indy Eleven in the Second Round at 7:30 p.m. CT, Tuesday, April 5 at IUPUI Michael A. Carroll Stadium.
What is the competition format for the 2022 U.S. Open Cup?
The competition works on a single-game, knock-out basis. This year's competition format will see 17 Division I clubs from MLS enter in the Third Round, one round earlier than in 2019. The remaining eight Major League Soccer clubs will enter in the Round of 32.
What will the 2022 U.S. Open Cup winner receive?
On top of the pride from being the top club in the U.S., the winning team will earn $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League, and have its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy, which is on display at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas. The runner-up will earn $100,000, and the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $2,500 cash prize.
What does the competition calendar look like?
APRIL 5-7 - Second Round Matches
*April 6 at 6:30 pm CT: Indy Eleven vs St Louis CITY2 @ Michael A. Carroll Track and Soccer Stadium (IUPUI)
APRIL 8 - Third Round Draw
APRIL 19-21 - Third Round Matches
APRIL 22 - Fourth Round Draw
MAY 10-11 - Fourth Round Matches
MAY 12 - Round of 16 & Quarterfinal Draw
MAY 24-25 - Round of 16 Matches
JUNE 21-22 - Quarterfinal Matches
JUNE 23 - Semifinal & Final Draw
JUNE 26-27 - Semifinal Matches
SEPTEMBER (TBD) - 2022 U.S. Open Cup Final
All 2022 U.S. Open Cup matches will be broadcasted on ESPN+