The oldest soccer competition in the United States is just around the corner: the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is set to enter its 104th go-around. The United States Soccer Federation has unveiled this year’s first round pairings and potential second round matchups, which will include the NPSL’s Atlanta Silverbacks and Chattanooga FC as well as Atlanta United FC’s second division affiliate, the USL’s Charleston Battery.
The Atlanta Silverbacks will open their Cup quest at home as they host the PDL’s SC United Bantams on Wednesday, May 10 at Silverbacks Park. Last year, the Silverbacks (then called Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves) lost an away match to the PDL’s Reading United 2-0 in the first round.
Chattanooga FC will open their campaign on the road as they visit the Charlotte Eagles on May 10 on the campus of Charlotte Christian School. CFC entered in the second round last year and played to a goalless draw against Reading United before winning in a penalty shootout. However, they would see their tournament end at the hands of the USL’s Harrisburg City Islanders in round three.
USSF also released potential second round matchups. If the Silverbacks defeat SC United Bantams, they will host the Charleston Battery a week later at Silverbacks Park. If SC United Bantams win, they will take the trip from Greenwood down I-26 to visit the Battery at MUSC Health Stadium. Chattanooga FC would be set to host the USL’s Charlotte Independence at Finley Stadium if they were to beat the Eagles in the first round. However, if the Eagles beat CFC, they would take on the Independence at Charlotte Christian.
As a reminder, all U.S. based MLS teams enter the tournament in the fourth round, so we should know Atlanta United’s potential opponent after the third round matchups are set. The Five Stripes will play either on June 13 or 14 against a team/at a venue to be determined.
Here’s the list of all the first round games/second round matchups. It should be fun to watch, and with several local teams in the mix, there’s plenty of rooting interests to go around.