2012 marks the 99th edition of the U.S. Open Cup and thanks to a formatting change, it also marks the first time every professional soccer team in the country will participate. The 2012 format includes 32 professional teams: the 16 U.S.-based Major League Soccer clubs, 6 U.S.-based North American Soccer League clubs, the 10 U.S.-based United Soccer Leagues-Pro clubs; and 32 amateur teams: 16 from the Premier Development League, 6.5 from the National Premier Soccer League, 9 teams from United States Adult Soccer Association, and .5 teams from US Club Soccer (one team from NPSL will face off against the USCS representative in a one game play-in match).
The 2011 U.S. Open Cup only included only 40 teams; 8 from MLS, 11 from USL-Pro, 9 from PDL, 4 from NPSL, and 8 from USASA. This means that more teams are entering the tournament from every division this year. NASL teams were disallowed from the 2011 cup partially because of late sanctioning and partially for political reasons. Fortunately, for the sake of competition and integrity, all domestic-based professional teams are participating this season. Continue reading