The 2019 United States Adult Soccer Association National Amateur Cup gets underway this weekend for the Midwest Region II, and with several clubs participating for the first time, many supporters may not know what to expect.
The ever-growing world of lower-league soccer will be graced by yet another year of the nearly centenary tournament starting on April 13th, and the Midwest Region has transformed incredibly from the previous running. What was a region of six teams in the 2018 season has since expanded to twenty clubs for this year’s installment. With four returning clubs from the previous year, this season’s USASA Amateur Cup will be comprised of sixteen new clubs from Region II.
The nearly three-month long tournament brings about an exciting new front for clubs to fight on during their normal campaigns, a front that, in the end, could yield a coveted place in the 2020 U.S. Open Cup. A five-round regional tournament will see the winner entered into the final four of the nation, where the top club from each region will compete for not only the Open Cup placement but a cash prize as well.
Originating in 1923, the competition was established by the United States Soccer Federation and was first played through to a finish a year later, in 1924. The competition has been since acquired by the United States Adult Soccer Association and since last season, has granted the national champions a place in the following year’s U.S. Open Cup.
With eight clubs set to face off in the first round, the other twelve have received byes into the second round, where some will have to wait to see who they will be playing until the whistles blow for full-time in the first round of games.
Iowa side, Union Dubuque FC, begin their campaign against fellow United Premier Soccer League members Springfield FC of Illinois. The winner of that game will go on to face Illinois team RWB Adria.
Gunners will play fellow Ohio team Valhalla for a spot in the second round. Old Bhoys SC of Indiana awaits the winner.
Hayward United SC of Wisconsin are set to play Stegman’s SC of Minnesota who both play in their states’ respective amateur leagues. The winner of that game will play the Milwaukee Bavarians, last year’s USASA Amateur Cup National Champions.
An all Michigan clash in the final game of the first round sees Grand Rapids FC up against Ann Arbor FC. The NPSL and UPSL sides, respectively, will both be hoping for deep runs in the tournament. Another Michigan club waits in the second round for the winner of that game, in the form of Livonia City FC.
The first round of matches will see teams competing from a variety of leagues, from NPSL to UPSL to state leagues. With many lesser-known soccer cities being represented, all involved will be hoping to make it to the Regional Final on June 29th, where the winner will advance into the National semi-finals.
Second round matchups that have already been determined by the draw include a Chicago derby between AAC Eagles Chicago and Schwaben AC, Michigan Stars facing local foes Hamtramck Warriors, FC Minneapolis facing Barron Soccer Team of Wisconsin, and Hamtramck City FC facing off against yet another Michigan team in Teranga Lions.
The rest of the nation will be holding separate regional tournaments to determine the other three representatives in the final four who will face off during the first weekend of August to determine a national champion.
The following rounds of the Region II tournament will be held on April 28th, May 12th, May 26th, and the Regional Final date of June 29th.