US Soccer revealed on Thursday afternoon a large restructure of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the 2020 edition.
The competition format for 2020 will require 11 Division I clubs from Major League Soccer (MLS) to enter in the Third Round, one round earlier than in recent years. For FC Dallas, they will enter in the third round this time with the other ten MLS sides. That round will take place between April 21-23, with the draw coming out on April 10.
The remaining 12 MLS clubs, which will include the four USA entrants to the 2020 Concacaf Champions League and the next four best American regular-season finishers in each of the league’s Eastern and Western Conferences, will enter in the Round of 32 (previously labeled the Fourth Round).
Beyond the revised format, the Committee also ratified the 2020 competition schedule, with the First Round set for March 24-25, the earliest start in the Open Cup’s modern era (1995 to present). The expanded tournament calendar will allow rounds to take place at least two weeks apart, providing additional time for home teams to market and sell tickets and for visiting clubs to arrange travel earlier at lower cost.
The final rounds of the tournament are still up in the air as the championship game could be as early as August 11 or as late as September 24.
What do you make of the new format for the USOC? Happy to see more MLS sides entering in an earlier round? Do you think MLS teams should be required to be on the road for their first game against lower division teams?