Looks like ESPN schedule will bring US Open Cup final forward a week to Sept 13-14. Awaiting confirmation. FC Dallas-New England in Frisco.— Brian Straus (@BrianStraus) August 17, 2016
A release from US Soccer notes simply that the showpiece game of the oldest tournament it presides over will be held "in September on a date to be determined." Good work, US Soccer.
But we are here to highlight the primary point of that same release: the start of the 2017 edition of US Open Cup.
The New York Red Bulls won't join the competition until well into next year, and the RBNY U-23 team - bounced in the first round proper this season - likely won't join it all. The U23s had an uneven season in PDL and don't have a particularly compelling case to be one of their league's entrants to the tournament.
But there are other local, lower-league teams that will be in USOC 2017. At least, they will try to be - and that trying starts with September's opening round of qualifying matches.
The New York and New Jersey teams in the draw are:
- Brick FC
- FC Motown
- Lansdowne Bhoys FC
- New York Greek Americans SC
- New York Pancyprian Freedoms
And their first qualifying round obligations are as follows:
- Vereinigung Erzgebirge vs. Brick Lions - September 10 @ 2:30 pm, Eastern
- Lansdowne Bhoys vs. New York Pancyprian Freedoms - September 10 @ 8:00 pm, Eastern
- FC Motown vs. New York Greek Americans SC - September 11 @ 7:00 pm, Eastern
So the five New York and New Jersey entrants will be whittled down to at least three by the next round of qualifying. And the second qualifying round will pit the winner of the Bhoys/Freedom match against the winner of the Motown/Greek Americans game.
In USOC 2016, the Pancyprian Freedoms made the second round proper, losing to Jersey Express. Lansdowne Bhoys lost to Rochester Rhinos in the third round. In 2017, only one will make through the early rounds of qualifying for a shot at making the main draw of the tournament. There will be at least one further round of qualifying (to be played in November).