The Full 90

Changes coming for the U.S. Open Cup

The United States Soccer Federation is expanding the Open Cup field this year, with 64 teams competing for the Lamar Hunt trophy.

The competition will begin on May 15 with all 16 Major League Soccer teams (the Canadian trio don't compete in the U.S. Open Cup) joining in the third round on May 29. There will no longer be a series of qualifiers to determine which MLS teams enter the Open Cup.

The fourth round has been added and will take place on June 5. The quarterfinals are slated for June 26, the semifinals on July 10 and the Open Cup Final on August 7 or 8.

The condensed schedule is designed to ease fixture congestion and avoid conflicts with the CONCACAF Champions League.

Sporting Kansas City have won the U.S. Open Cup once during the 2004 season. Last year, KC were eliminated from the competition by the USL's Richmond Kickers.

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