CHICAGO (April 16, 2021) – At its meeting this week, U.S. Soccer’s Open Cup Committee made the decision not to hold the 2021 edition of the tournament this spring. The Committee cited the combined logistical and financial challenges still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Committee will evaluate the possibility of conducting the competition in some fashion later in the year.
“The logistical and financial burdens to have the tournament take place this spring in the current environment are substantial,” said Open Cup Commissioner Paul Marstaller. “Even though all of U.S. Soccer’s member professional teams will be playing in their respective league competitions this year, the Committee did not feel it wise to have clubs divert important resources during the next two months for Open Cup play. Instead, we will look further into the future to see what possibilities might exist for 2021. After that, a full-scale 2022 Open Cup is less than a year away.”
Last month, the Committee approved a revised format for this year’s competition that would have included a total of 16 teams with representation from each of the four divisions that normally compete in the tournament: Professional Division I, Division II, Division III and the Open Division (encompassing all other affiliated teams and leagues).
About the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
In its 108th year, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – U.S. Soccer's National Championship – is the only high-profile competition in American team sports where amateur sides face professionals in meaningful competition. The history-filled tournament, conducted on a single-game, knockout basis, is open to all professional and amateur teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. Having crowned its first champion in 1914, the oldest national soccer competition in the USA was renamed in 1999 to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
Atlanta United FC is the reigning Open Cup champion, having earned the club's first tournament title with a 2-1 victory against Minnesota United FC on Aug. 27, 2019 in front of an Open Cup Final record 35,709 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.