The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States, first played in 1914 under the name U.S. Soccer's National Championship. The competition has only paused twice, in 2020 and 2021, due to Covid.
The U.S. Open Cup is open to all soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer, professional and amateur. The tournament features teams from across the U.S. soccer pyramid, from the professional level—Major League Soccer (MLS), the United Soccer League (USL) and the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA)—down to the semi-pro and amateur ranks, with teams entering at various stages of the tournament.
This year’s field includes 72 professional teams and 28 amateur teams for a total of 100 squads. On the professional side, all 26 U.S.-based MLS teams will enter the tournament along with 24 from Division II and 22 from Division III.
The USOC format is play until you lose.
The first and second rounds, which featured the Open division and lower-division professional leagues, are done and dusted.
Next up, the third round, followed by the round of 32 and so on.
The top-four MLS clubs in the Eastern and Western conferences from the final 2022 regular-season standings receive an automatic bye to the round of 32. The other 18 U.S.-based MLS teams are drawn into tournament at the third round, and that includes the Rapids.
Open Cup champions take home $300,000 in prize money for their club, their name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy, and an automatic berth into the next year’s edition of the Concacaf Champions League. Oh, and bragging rights as the best soccer team in the country.
The Rapids’ First Game
Again, joining in the third round, the Rapids will start U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday, April 26, welcoming in-state opponent, Northern Colorado Hailstorm, to DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. With kickoff set for 7 p.m., gates will open at 6 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased here. All tickets are General Admission.
How to Tune In
The Rapids’ matchup with the Hailstorm will be streamed live on the club’s official YouTube page at YouTube.com/ColoradoRapids. Those unable to watch can listen in on Altitude Sports Radio 950 AM with Connor Cape and Brian Crookham.
This is the third time in the Rapids’ Open Cup history that they’ve faced a Centennial State opponent. They took on neighbors Colorado Springs Switchbacks in the fourth round of the tournament in both 2015 and 2016, emerging victorious on both occasions.
The Hailstorm defeated the Switchbacks in the second round this year to advance.
Round of 32
Round of 16