2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualification
The 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament proper features teams from all five tiers of men's soccer of the American Soccer Pyramid.
For the 2012 tournament, all American-based teams from the top two tiers, Major League Soccer and the North American Soccer League, will earns berths into the third and second round propers of the tournament, respectively. Thus making it the first time in six years that all first and second division teams automatically qualify into the tournament.
For the third, fourth and fifth tiers of the pyramid, a series of qualification and state tournaments are held to determine the berths into the tournament. Most states began their qualification in October or November 2011 and will conclude in March 2012. These teams, will complete the 64 team field in the U.S. Open Cup.
USL Premier Development League
Previously, the berths in the USL Premier Development League were determined by each divisional leader after a select number of PDL regular season matches. For 2012, the PDL was allocated 16 berths, up from eight. Additionally, US Soccer required that all berths be determined by May 5th. Therefore, the league decided that 4 clubs from each conference would qualify based on the results from 2011. The top 2 US based clubs from each division in the Central, Southern, and Western conference would qualify. For the Eastern Conference the qualifiers were the top team from each of the three divisions and a "wildcard" from the remaining teams – the team with the most points from the regular season.
Since the 1st place team, Thunder Bay Chill, in the Heartland Division is a Canadian club, Real Colorado Foxes qualified for the US Open Cup even though they did not participate in the 2011 playoffs. Likewise, since the 2nd place team in the Northwest Division, Victoria Highlanders, and the 3rd place team, Vancouver Whitecaps Residency, are both Canadian clubs, the 4th place team Portland Timbers U23's qualified. Interestingly the Eastern conference runner-up, Jersey Express, did not qualify for the Cup.
|Team||Conference||Division||2011 Division Place||2011 Playoff results|
|Michigan Bucks||Central||Great Lakes||Champion||Conference Runner-up|
|Chicago Fire Premier||Central||Great Lakes||Runner-up||Conference Semi-finalist|
|Des Moines Menace||Central||Heartland||Runner-up||Conference Semi-finalist|
|Real Colorado Foxes||Central||Heartland||Third||Did Not Participate|
|Long Island Rough Riders||Eastern||Mid Atlantic||Champion||Conference Champion|
|Carolina Dynamo||Eastern||South Atlantic||Champion||Conference Semi-finalist|
|GPS Portland Phoenix||Eastern||Northeast||Champion||Qualified|
|Reading United A.C.||Eastern||Mid Atlantic||Runner-up||Qualified|
|Laredo Heat||Southern||Mid South||Champion||Conference Champion, League Runner-up|
|El Paso Patriots||Southern||Mid South||Runner-up||Conference Semi-finalist|
|Mississippi Brilla||Southern||Southeast||Champion||Conference Runner-up|
|Orlando City U-23||Southern||Southeast||Runner-up||Conference Semi-finalist|
|Kitsap Pumas||Western||Northwest||Champion||Conference Champion, League Champion|
|Portland Timbers U23's||Western||Northwest||Fourth||Did Not Participate|
|Fresno Fuego||Western||Southwest||Champion||Conference Runner-up|
|Ventura County Fusion||Western||Southwest||Champion||Conference Semi-finalist|
National Premier Soccer League
Six and a half spots in the main tournament proper have been allocated to NPSL clubs. The half spot will be contested against the winner of the US Club Soccer Final in a play-in game.
For the United States Adult Soccer Association, a total of nine teams will earn berths into the first round proper of the Open Cup. These nine berths will be determined through regional tournaments. The participants of these tournaments are determined through the respective region's state or subregional cup champions, which began as early as October 2011 and run through March 2012. Throughout March and April 2012, the regional cups will be played to determine regional co-champions, and the USASA's representatives into the Open Cup.
The semifinal winners, NY Greek American Atlas aka Greek American AA and Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks, both qualified for the Cup. Additionally, Jersey Shore Boca, the winner of the third place match also qualified for the Cup.
Six teams were involved in the 2012 USASA Region II National Cup which also determined which 2 teams from Region II would qualify for the Cup. A blind draw determined that the winner of the Cincy Saints vs KC Athletics match would qualify for the cup; thus KC Athletics earned the first berth. A 4 team single elimination competition was played between the remaining 4 teams and the Croatian Eagles earned the second berth for Region II with two 2–0 victories.
Region 3 Men's Open Competition was held in Houston Texas at the Houston Amateur Sports Park April 27-29, 2012. Eight teams played matches in two groups with the winner of each group securing a place in the Open Cup representing Region III. ASC New Stars and NTX Rayados won their group and qualified for the Cup.
U.S. Soccer gave Region IV a waiver to the qualifying deadline of April 29; therefore, the U.S. Adult Soccer Association's Region IV championship tournament qualified the top team from each of 2 groups which played May 4-5. PSA Elite and Cal FC won their groups and qualified for the Cup, with PSA Elite also winning the Region IV championship match on May 6 and will represent Region IV at the 2012 USASA National Cup.
US Club Soccer
- "2012 US Open Cup qualifying: US Club Soccer tournament kicks off to decide play-in game representative". http://thecup.us. 11 April 2012. External link in
- National Cup:US Open Cup - 2012 UPDATE
- Hakala, Josh (April 28, 2012). "USASA Region III tournament updates: ASC New Stars, NTX Rayados clinch US Open Cup berths". TheCup.us. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- Format, Composition and Schedule Finalized for 99th Edition of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
- OPEN CUP: Regional set for Ontario
- Hakala, Josh (May 7, 2012). "Eric Wynalda's Cal FC joins PSA Elite from Region IV to complete 2012 US Open Cup field". TheCup.us. Retrieved May 8, 2012.