US Open Cup / West Chester United

West Chester United gains US Open Cup First Round berth

West Chester United Predators are in the first round of the 2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

The match date for the the start of First Round play is Wednesday, May 11.

The Predators, winners of the United States Amateur Soccer Association’s 2015 national championship, the Werner Fricker Cup, was scheduled to host Massachusetts’ Southie FC in the third round of Open Division qualification on April 2. But on Tuesday, the team received an email from Adrian Garibay, US Soccer’s Director of Competitions, with the news that third round had been eliminated.

The reason? The federation had “been informed by one of the leagues in the professional division that their number of participating teams in the 2016 U.S. Open Cup will be reduced.”

As a result, the email explained, “Teams from local qualifying have been awarded six new slots, allowing all 14 teams still alive in this qualifying track to be placed directly into the First Round of the 2016 U.S. Open Cup.”

“The team is absolutely stoked,” West Chester United Predators head coach Blaise Santangelo told PSP. “We are looking forward to hearing of our opponent, which will take place at the mid-April draw. The team has been training twice a week to prep for league play and the May 11 first-round of the Lamar Hunt Cup.”

Before the 2016 edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, West Chester United would have automatically qualified for the first round as Werner Fricker Cup champions. But Undaunted, the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania team won its first two local qualifiers, defeating Junior Lone Star 2-1 (AET) on Oct. 17, and then defeating Salone FC 3-0 on Nov. 15.

Presumably, the freeing up of First Round spots and subsequent elimination of the third round of Open Division qualifiers is related to the confirmation in January that lower division professional teams that are majority owned by a higher division professional team cannot participate in the US Open Cup tournament. Thus, for example, Philadelphia Union-owned Bethlehem Steel is ineligible to participate in the tournament. Additionally, several NASL and USL teams have folded or are on hold.

The email from US Soccer notes “any of the roster limitations previously in place are no longer applicable for the actual Open Cup tournament.” Therefore, teams will essentially start their rosters with a new set of players in the first round.


  1. now that we got that cleared up… go get em.

  2. They should play at Talen before the Union-Galaxy match that night…

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