PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 2, 2017) – For the first time in their history, Junior Lone Star FC will compete in the 104th edition of the prestigious Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The Stars are one of the modern era record 99 teams across the United States from the Pro and Amateur levels to participate in this year’s tourney. The Stars completed this historic feat after defeating both Rising Stars FC (5-1) and Brick Lions FC (3-2) in the first and second local qualifying rounds, respectively last Fall.

Junior Lone Star President said, “It’s an honor to be one of the 99 teams to compete in such a prestigious tournament like the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. We have aspired to reach this level for the past four seasons and we can’t wait to battle the absolute best of adult amateur and pro teams in the United States!”

The Stars, representing the Philadelphia Premier Soccer League, will play an amateur team from either the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) or the Premier Development League (PDL) based in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, or Virginia in the First Round slated for Wednesday, May 10th. According to the US Soccer Federation, the First Round pairings and possible Second Round matches are expected to be announced on April 12th.

If the Stars reach the Second Round and the Third Round, they will likely play against a pro team from Division II’s North American Soccer League (NASL) and/or United Soccer League (USL) on May 17th and May 31st, respectively.

Teams from the Major League Soccer (MLS) enter the tournament in the Fourth Round on June 14th with a possible match-up against the Philadelphia Union, if the Stars reach that far.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT, SCHEDULE, AND OTHER KEY DATES:

Initial Pairings Announcement – April 12

•     First Round games as well as Second Round possibilities announced.

First Round – May 10

•     Number of Games: 28

•     Participants: 56 Open Division teams

•     Competition: Teams will be paired geographically with the restriction that teams from the same qualifying pool (e.g. local qualifiers, PDL, NPSL) cannot be paired to play each other.

Second Round – May 17

•     Number of Games: 26

•     Participants: Winners of 28 First Round games are joined by 24 Division II clubs (6 from NASL, 18 from USL).

•     Competition: At the time the First Round pairings are made, each Division II team will be matched geographically to a specific First Round pairing and be scheduled to play its winner. The remaining First Round matchups not paired with a Division II side will be paired geographically, with the winners playing each other to complete the round.

Third Round – May 31

•     Number of Games: 13

•     Participants: Winners of 26 Second Round games will play each other.

•     Competition: After each Second Round matchup has been determined, the Second Round pairs will be bracketed geographically to create the Third Round matchups.

Fourth Round – June 14*

•     Number of Games: 16

•     Participants: Winners from 13 Third Round games are joined by 19 MLS clubs.

•     Competition: After each Third Round matchup has been determined, 13 of 19 MLS teams will be paired geographically to a specific Third Round matchup and be scheduled to play these winners, while the remaining six MLS teams will be paired up to complete the bracket.

Round of 16 Draw – June 15

•     The Fourth Round winners will be divided geographically (regardless of league affiliation) into groups of four, with teams who are precluded from playing each other until the Final per tournament regulations (i.e. pro teams and their affiliated Open Division sides) placed in different groups. A random draw will determine the pairings within each group, resulting in a fixed bracket for the remainder of the tournament. Should a precluded pair of teams reach the Semifinal Round and be scheduled to face each other, the matches will be re-drawn after the quarterfinals to avoid this outcome.

Round of 16 – June 28*

•     Number of Games: 8

•     Fourth Round winners face each other as determined by the Round of 16 Draw.

Quarterfinals – July 11^

Semifinals – Aug. 9*

Final – Sept. 20

* Any game in the Fourth Round, Round of 16 and Semifinal Round where one of the participants has a league game the following Friday will be moved up a day (exception to this is when the team’s opponent is scheduled for a league game the preceding Sunday; in this case, the provisions in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Handbook to determine the match date will prevail). In addition, any game chosen by U.S. Soccer to be broadcast nationally is subject to being moved up a day.

^ For the Quarterfinal Round, teams may apply to change the match date within a window that runs between July 7-16 if both teams in a match are not scheduled otherwise.

Note: The day following each of the dates listed above is reserved as a make-up date in the event of a weather postponement.