If the Seattle Sounders want to win their fifth US Open Cup, they will have to play against the largest field ever assembled. The US Soccer Federation announced that 99 teams will take part in the 104th edition of the tournament. The initial pairings announcement will take place on April 12.
The opening round will feature 56 amateur clubs, a modern era record (1995-present), and will begin on May 10. The second round, comprised of USL and NASL teams, will take place on May 17. The USL will have 18 teams while the NASL will have just six.
Round three will begin on May 31 and the winners will move on to the fourth round where all 19 US based MLS teams will enter the tournament and begin on June 14.
The winner of the tournament will take home $250,000 and will earn a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League. The runner-up will receive $60,000, the Division II club and amateur club that advance the farthest will each receive $15,000.
The Sounders U23s will enter the tournament in the first round (May 10) and if you have U23 season tickets, any Open Cup game is included in your season tickets. The Sounders will enter on June 14. After the third round is completed, 13 of the 19 MLS teams will be paired geographically to a specific third round matchup and will be scheduled to play these winners. The other six teams will be paired to complete the bracket.