Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 -- Three Arizona teams featuring many former Arizona Soccer Association players will be in action tonight as they look to advance past the first round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
In Mesa, FC Arizona will be playing host to Sporting Arizona FC at John D. Riggs Stadium on the campus of Mesa Community College at 7:00 p.m. Down in the Old Pueblo, FC Tucson will be playing host to California side La Maquina FC at 7:30 p.m.
The winner of FC Arizona and Sporting Arizona FC will play Phoenix Rising FC in the second round and if FC Tucson walks away with a victory they will face off against Las Vegas Lights FC. Both of those matches will be held on Wednesday, May 16.
FC Tucson is no stranger to the U.S. Open Cup as they have qualified for competition in 2013 and 2015-2017. The furthest they have advanced was in 2013 when they suffered a 2-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo in the Third Round. Last year, Phoenix Rising advanced to the Third Round, but they were defeated by NASL's San Francisco Deltas. This is the first time that FC Arizona and Sporting AZ FC will compete.
The furthest an Arizona team has ever advanced was in 2014 when Arizona United made it to the Fourth Round and suffered a 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy. This year's tournament will see a tiered bracket and eight rounds of single-elimination play until a champion is crowned in September 18.
A total of 52 Open Division teams (clubs from PDL, NPSL, and local qualifying) will enter the first round on May 9th. 22 clubs from the USL will enter in the Second Round on May 16 and the Third Round will take place on May 23 and the the Major League Soccer clubs will joining in the Fourth Round on June 6.
The 2018 U.S. Open Cup winner will earn increased prize money ($300,000) a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League and have its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports.