Today's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Talking Points
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, commonly known as the U.S. Open Cup, is a knock-out cup competition in American soccer. It is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the U.S. and the world's third-longest-running open soccer tournament. The 103rd edition, held in 2016, was contested by 91 clubs from the three professional leagues sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation: Major League Soccer (MLS), the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the United Soccer League (USL), and also amateur clubs in the earlier rounds of the tournament after qualifying through their leagues. The overall champion earns a total of $250,000 in prize money, while the runner-up receives $60,000, and the furthest-advancing team from each lower division league receives $15,000. In addition, the tournament winner qualifies for the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League.
The competition was first held during the 1913–14 season as the National Challenge Cup, with Brooklyn Field Club winning a trophy donated by Thomas Dewar for the promotion of American soccer. It was renamed and then dedicated to MLS owner Lamar Hunt by the United States Soccer Federation in 1999.
Major League Soccer teams have dominated the competition since MLS began play in 1996. No lower division team has won the U.S. Open Cup since the Rochester Rhinos in 1999, reached the U.S. Open Cup final since the Charleston Battery in 2008, or reached the semifinals since the Richmond Kickers in 2011. The most recent champions of the competition, FC Dallas, won their second title (the first title came when they were known as the Dallas Burn) after defeating the New England Revolution 4–2 in the 2016 final.Close