FREDERICKSBURG, Virginia - For the first time in franchise history, Fredericksburg Football Club is set to participate in the 103rd edition of U.S. Soccer's oldest and most prestigious national cup competition.
Along with 44 professional clubs (including 17 U.S. -based Major League Soccer franchises) and 48 other qualified amateur clubs, Fredericksburg FC will compete in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The U.S. Open Cup is the oldest ongoing competition in American soccer. On September 8, 2015 the United States Soccer Federation decided to prevent professional teams that were "majority owned by a higher-level Outdoor Professional League Team" from taking part in the competition.
The city of Fredericksburg will also be making history on May 11th. It will be the first time the U.S. Open Cup has ever been played here. "Today was a proud moment in trying to help create and contribute to growing the soccer culture in America when the Open Cup draw was released this afternoon." FFC Executive Director and President said.
"This is a massive accomplishment that I'm stoked to be apart of and thanks to everyone who has contributed to bring these opportunities to Fredericksburg, my home town. There has been a vision to the madness since starting all the soccer projects once returning to the states and this has definitely been a fantastic moment and part of the real big picture I was hoping for. For Fredericksburg players to actually have an opportunity to compete in such a prestigious event or understand that the step to the next level isn't that far away will hopefully inspire the next generation to work that much harder and want to achieve more. One Small Step for Soccer in America, One Large Step towards creating soccer culture in Fredericksburg!"
This year’s U.S. Open Cup features 92 teams, a record in the tournament’s modern era (1995 to present). Berths for teams from the Open Division, which includes clubs from all leagues other than Division I, II and III outdoor professional leagues, have expanded from the 36 announced last September to a modern era-record 48 as a result of the number of First Round places available after slotting Division I, II and III teams into later rounds.
+ 17 from Major League Soccer (entering in the 4th round)
+ 9 from the North American Soccer League (starting in Round 3)
+ 18 from USL (whose first matches will be in the second round)
The field’s remaining 48 spots will be filled by amateur teams:
+ 19 from the Premier Development League (PDL)
+ 15 from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL)
+ 14 local qualifiers
This year’s winning team will receive $250,000, a berth in the 2017-18 CONCACAF Champions’ League and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will earn $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $15,000 cash prize.