MLS

US Open Cup announces new format for 2021 tournament

Major League Soccer and the United States Soccer Federation announced on Monday the qualification procedure for clubs ahead of the 2020 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

USA
US Open Cup announces new format for 2021 tournament

The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup will have a new format for the 2021 tournament as announced on Monday by Major League Soccer and the US Soccer Federation. Back in February it was confirmed that eight United States-based MLS teams would qualify for the 2021 edition. And on Monday the league confirmed that those teams will be determined by their performances during the first three weeks of the MLS regular season.

The teams based in the United States with the highest number of points after the first three weeks of the regular season (16 April through 3 May) will qualify for the cup. In the case that there are two or more teams that have the same number of points after the three initial weeks, then there will be a tiebreak:

- Goal Differential (GD) per match

- Goals For (GF) per match

- Fewest Disciplinary Points per match (yellow and red cards)

- Away Goals Differential per Away match (Away Goals For per Away match minus Away Goals Against per Away match)

- Away Goals For per Away match

- Home Goals Differential per Home match (Home Goals For per Home match minus Home Goals Against per Home match)

- Home Goals For per Home match

- Coin Toss (tie of two clubs) or Drawing of Lots (tie of three or more clubs)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the Open Cup committee decided not to hold the tournament’s Opening Round and now 16 teams will play four rounds to determine the winner. That team will also earn $300,000 in prize money and a berth in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League. The runner-up will take $100,000.

A draw will take place to determine the groups and so that each Division I team plays against a lower division club. The Round of 16 draw is scheduled for 4 May and the semifinal draw will take place after those games are concluded.