U.S. Soccer’s decision to allow various clubs into this season’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has created the opportunity for more matches to be played.
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On Monday, the USSF announced that Miami FC 2, New York Cosmos B and Jacksonville Armada will each be eligible to participate in this season’s tournament, but must compete in play-in matches in order to reach the final competition.
The matches will be played over May 5/6 weekend, although the times and locations of the fixtures are yet to be determined.
Both Jacksonville and Miami will take on PDL opposition in their play-in matches, facing The Villages SC and FC Miami City, respectively, while Cosmos B will take on NPSL side Brooklyn Italians.
NASL’s decision to cancel the 2018 regular season has caused significant ramifications, with the latest forcing several clubs to be excluded from the U.S. Open Cup.
The New York Cosmos and Miami FC — both of whom participated in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup have not been named among the eligible teams for the 2018 edition following NASL’s cancellation of the league season.
Now, the two teams have petitioned to U.S. Soccer and its new president, Carlos Cordeiro, to rethink its decision and allow the clubs to play despite not belonging to a professional league.
Both clubs do boast reserve teams though — New York Cosmos B and Miami 2 — which is the lead argument from each organization as to why U.S. Soccer should grant the teams an exemption and a spot in the tournament.
Cosmos B and Miami FC 2 will both play in the NPSL once again in 2018, with both rosters largely comprised of senior team players.
As it stands, 94 teams have been placed in the 2018 Open Cup field, as announced by U.S. Soccer on Wednesday.
Both open letters from the respective clubs can be found below.