RENO, Nev. – Reno 1868 FC will make its debut in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the club announced today. 1868 FC will play an away game against the winner of Development league’s Seattle Sounders U-23 and the Olympic Soccer Academy of the National Premier Soccer League on May 17 at 7:30 p.m. PST.
“It’s an honor to compete in the Open Cup,” said Andy Smith, general manager of Reno 1868 FC. “A successful run in this tournament could put Reno soccer on the map.”
What is the Open Cup?
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a tournament that began in the early 20th century and continues to be an annual competition today. From the industrial leagues of the 1920’s and ‘30’s, to the post-World War II era, and the dominance of MLS since the league’s birth in 1996, the Open Cup tells the confusing, chaotic and unlikely story of soccer’s success on American shores.
The first U.S. Open Cup was played in 1914, making it the oldest cup competition for soccer in the United States and the country’s oldest annual tournament for team sports. While professional soccer came and went in various forms and incarnations, at various stages of the 20th century, the Open Cup crowned a champion for each of the last 103 years. Even through the want and woe of the Great Depression and the challenges of two World Wars, the U.S. Open Cup survived.
The romance of the U.S. Open Cup derives from its format as a single-elimination competition open to all affiliated professional and amateur teams in the United States. $250,000 in prize money is on offer to the winner of the 2017 event, an unfathomable amount for the hopeful amateurs from the Open Division. While a non-Major League Soccer side hasn’t won since the Rochester Rhinos in 1999, the dream of a fairytale scramble to the final is a spur for those small sides who play for the love of the game. Financial inducements don’t stop with the champions, either, as the runner-up collects $60,000 and the team that advances farthest from each lower division gets $15,000.
Season Memberships are on-sale now at reno1868fc.com or by calling 775-334-7001. For-up-to-date news and notes throughout the season, follow Reno 1868 FC on Twitter @reno1868fc, Instagram @reno1868fc or like the team on Facebook.