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2024 U.S. Open Cup: MLS to send only eight clubs to tournament

2024 U.S. Open Cup: MLS to send only eight clubs to tournament

The 2024 U.S. Open Cup will see a drastically low number of clubs from Major League Soccer.

Only eight MLS clubs will take part in this season’s tournament, as well as 11 MLS Next Pro representatives, U.S. Soccer announced Friday. The MLS clubs participating in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup, and their MLS Next Pro teams, were excluded from the selection process, per the federation’s announcement.

Defending tournament winners Houston Dynamo, Atlanta United, FC Dallas, Los Angeles FC, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, and Sporting Kansas City were the MLS clubs selected for involvement.

MLS Next Pro debutants Carolina Core FC will also be involved in the competition.

A total of 96 teams in total will feature throughout the annual competition, which will begin in mid-March and conclude in late-September.

“First and foremost, I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all our members for their invaluable input over the past couple of months— sharing with us of the reasons the U.S. Open Cup is so great, and what we can do to make it even better,” said U.S. Soccer CEO JT Batson.

“After extensive discussions, we have put together a competitive format specific to the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, promising exciting matchups from the First Round and through the entire tournament,” he added. “U.S. Soccer values the tradition and importance of the U.S. Open Cup, and we will continue to have conversations with all our members to explore avenues for enhancing future editions of the tournament and how we all work together to grow soccer in every community in the country.” 

The upcoming First Round (March 19-21) will mark the first time since 2008 that all 32 matchups will be exclusively between amateur and professional teams.

The Houston Dynamo defeated Inter Miami in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup Final

Here is a breakdown of the U.S. Open Cup schedule:

First Round               Tuesday, March 19 – Thursday, March 21              
Second Round           Tuesday, April 2 – Wednesday, April 3                   
Third Round              Tuesday, April 16 – Wednesday, April 17               
Round of 32              Tuesday, May 7 – Wednesday, May 8                     
Round of 16               Tuesday, May 21 – Wednesday, May 22                 
Quarterfinal               Tuesday, July 9 – Wednesday, July 10                    
Semifinal                        Tuesday, Aug. 27 – Wednesday, Aug. 28               
Final                              Wednesday, Sept. 25 

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