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21 PDL Teams Earn U.S. Open Cup Spot

03/01/2017, 2:30pm EST
By AARON CRANFORD - aaron.cranford@uslsoccer.com

Michigan Bucks, Ocean City Nor'easters among record-high 21 teams set to play in First Round

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TAMPA, Fla. - Led by the 2016 PDL Championship winners Michigan Bucks, a total of 21 Premier Development League franchises - the most in league history - have earned a spot in the First Round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

"The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup provides a unique opportunity for amateur players in the PDL to be exposed to professional clubs and competition across North America while taking part in one of the world's longest-running soccer tournaments," PDL Director Todd Eason said. "We are thrilled to have a record-high 21 of our teams taking part in 2017 and look forward to supporting each and every one of our clubs as they attempt to make a deep run in the tournament."

The teams set to compete in the opening stage of the competition on May 10 include FC Tucson, the Charlotte Eagles, the Des Moines Menace, Reading United AC, the OKC Energy U23, the Fresno Fuego, The Villages SC, the GPS Portland Phoenix, the Carolina Dynamo, San Diego Zest FC, the South Florida Surf, the Ocean City Nor'easters, the FC Golden State Force, Chicago FC United, the Western Mass Pioneers, the Sounders FC U23, the Ventura County Fusion, SC United Bantams, Burlingame Dragons FC, the Derby City Rovers and the Bucks.

Each 2016 PDL division winner - the Bucks, Tucson, Eagles, Menace, Reading United, Energy U23, Fuego, The Villages SC and the Phoenix - qualified for this year's edition of the tournament, while the Sounders U23 were the highest-finishing U.S.-based team in the Northwest Division.

The pairings for the First Round of the tournament, as well as the Second Round possible matchups, will be revealed by U.S. Soccer on April 12.

Teams from the United Soccer League will enter the 104th edition of the tournament in the Second Round, with a USL record-high 18 teams taking part. The Charleston Battery, Charlotte Independence, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, FC Cincinnati, Harrisburg City Islanders, Louisville City FC, OKC Energy FC, Orange County SC, Phoenix Rising FC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Reno 1868 FC, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Sacramento Republic FC, Saint Louis FC, San Antonio FC, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Tulsa Roughnecks FC will begin play on May 17.

The Third Round will take place on May 31, and then Major League Soccer clubs will begin U.S. Open Cup play in the Fourth Round on June 14.

The team that advances furthest from the Open Division, which the PDL is a part of, will earn a $15,000 cash prize. 

First PDL Season: 2015

Open Cup Appearances: 2015, 2016, 2017

2016 PDL Record: 7-5-2 (2nd in Central Pacific Division)

PDL Titles: Southwest Division Champion (2015)


First PDL Season: 2003

Open Cup Appearances*: 2003-04, 2006, 2011-14, 2017

2016 PDL Record: 10-3-1 (2nd in South Atlantic Division)

PDL Titles: PDL Championship Runners-up (2012), Regular Season Champions (2006), Eastern Conference Champions (2004, 2012), Mid Atlantic Division Champions (2004), Southeast Division Champions (2007), South Atlantic Division Champions (2006, 2011-13)


First PDL Season: 2015

Open Cup Appearances*: 2016-17

2016 PDL Record: 11-2-1 (1st in South Atlantic Division)

PDL Titles: South Atlantic Division Champions (2015-16)


First PDL Season: 2017

Open Cup Appearances: 2017

2016 PDL Record: N/A

PDL Titles: N/A

The partnership between Chicago FC United's ownership group and the Chicago Fire completed in 2016; therefore, Chicago FC United retains rights to compete in the U.S. Open Cup in 2017.


First PDL Season: 2011

Open Cup Appearances: 2013, 2017

2016 PDL Record: 7-5-2 (3rd in Great Lakes Division)

PDL Titles: None


First PDL Season: 1995

Open Cup Appearances: 2002-03, 2005-06, 2010-11, 2013-17

2016 PDL Record: 10-2-2 (1st in Heartland Division)

PDL Titles: PDL Champions (2005), Regular Season Champions (2002, 2014), Central Conference Champions (2005), Heartland Division Champions (2002, 2009, 2014-16)


First PDL Season: 2016

Open Cup Appearances: 2017

2016 PDL Record: 8-4-2 (3rd in Southwest Division)

PDL Titles: None


First PDL Season: 2012

Open Cup Appearances: 2013, 2015-17

2016 PDL Record: 11-1-2 (1st in Southwest Division)

PDL Titles: Mountain Division Champion (2014-15), Southwest Division Champion (2016)


First PDL Season: 2003

Open Cup Appearances: 2003, 2012, 2014, 2017

2016 PDL Record: 10-3-1 (1st in Central Pacific Division)

PDL Titles: Regular Season Champions (2011), Western Conference Champions (2004, 2007), Southwest Division Champions (2003, 2007, 2011, 2013), Central Pacific Division Champions (2016)


First PDL Season: 2010

Open Cup Appearances: 2013-14, 2016-17

2016 PDL Record: 9-3-2 (1st in Northeast Division)

PDL Titles: Northeast Division Champions (2011, 2015-16)


First PDL Season: 1996

Open Cup Appearances: 1997, 1999-2001, 2003, 2006-2008, 2012-17

2016 PDL Record: 12-2-0 (1st in Great Lakes Division)

PDL Titles: PDL Champions (2006, 2014, 2016), Regular Season Champions (2000, 2008, 2012, 2015-16), Central Conference Champions (1997, 2000, 2006-07, 2014, 2016), North Central Division Champions (1997), Great Lakes Division Champions (1999-2000, 2003-04, 2007-08, 2010-12, 2014-16)


First PDL Season: 2003

Open Cup Appearances*: 2004-05, 2007, 2009, 2013-14, 2017

2016 PDL Record: 9-5-0 (2nd in Mid Atlantic Division)

PDL Titles: Eastern Conference Champions (2013, 2016), Mid Atlantic Division Champions (2012-13), Northeast Division Champions (2004)


First PDL Season: 2016

Open Cup Appearances: 2017

2016 PDL Record: 10-3-1 (1st in Mid South Division)

PDL Titles: Mid South Division Champions (2016)


First PDL Season: 2004

Open Cup Appearances*: 2009-2017

2016 PDL Record: 10-3-1 (1st in Mid Atlantic Division)

PDL Titles: Regular Season Champion (2009), Eastern Conference Champion (2008, 2010), Mid Atlantic Division Champion (2008-10, 2016)


First PDL Season: 2016

Open Cup Appearances: 2017

2016 PDL Record: 8-1-5 (2nd in Southwest Division)

PDL Titles: None


First PDL Season: 2012

Open Cup Appearances: 2017

2016 PDL Record: 7-4-3 (3rd in South Atlantic Division)

PDL Titles: None


First PDL Season: 2006

Open Cup Appearances: 2013, 2016-17

2016 PDL Record: 8-6-0 (2nd in Northwest Division)

PDL Titles: Western Conference Champions (2012, 2015), Northwest Division Champions (2008, 2012)


First PDL Season: 2016

Open Cup Appearances: 2017

2016 PDL Record: 8-2-4 (2nd in Southeast Division)

PDL Titles: None


First PDL Season: 2016

Open Cup Appearances: 2016-17

2016 PDL Record: 9-3-2 (1st in Southeast Division)

PDL Titles: Southeast Division Champion (2016)


First PDL Season: 2007

Open Cup Appearances: 2010-17

2016 PDL Record: 7-4-3 (4th in Southwest Division)

PDL Titles: PDL Champions (2009), Western Conference Champions (2009), Southwest Division Champions (2010, 2012, 2014)


First PDL Season: 2010

Open Cup Appearances: 2011, 2014-15, 2017

2016 PDL Record: 7-3-4 (2nd in Northeast Division)

PDL Titles: None


*U.S. Open Cup appearances as a PDL franchise.


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Tag(s): NEWS  U.S. Open Cup