Fuel Soccer Talk: U.S. Open pairings and host scenarios; USWNT begin Send-Off Series; U.S. Youth Soccer applications announced

So much soccer, so little time!

2019 U.S. Open Cup third-round pairings set

U.S. Soccer has determined the potential pairings and host scenarios for the Third Round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer’s National Championship. Set to take place May 29, the Third Round will match the 22 winners that advance from this week’s Second Round action, contested by professional clubs from the Division II USL Championship (USLC) and First Round survivors from the new Division III USL League One (USLL1), Open Division local qualifying teams and Open Division national league sides from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and USL League Two (USLL2). All U.S. Open Cup games can be seen live on ESPN+.

The Third Round winners will face Division I Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs in the Fourth Round on June 11 & 12. The Fourth Round Draw to determine the exact matchups will be held May 30.

The 2019 U.S. Open Cup winner will earn $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2020 Concacaf Champions League and have its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy – one of the oldest nationally-contested trophies in American team sports – now on permanent display at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas. The runner-up will earn $100,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $25,000 cash prize.

For complete coverage of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, visit and follow the tournament’s official social accounts on Twitter and Instagram @OpenCup and Facebook @OfficialOpenCup.

What games on the schedule have your attention? 

WNT blanks South Africa 3-0 to kick off Send-Off Series

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (May 12, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off its three-game Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods, with a 3-0 win against South Africa in front of 22,788 fans on a beautiful Mother’s Day Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

The USA dominated the entire game and made their initial breakthrough in the 37th minute when Rose Lavelle slipped a ball to the top of the area for Samantha Mewis, who finished with a low shot inside the right post.

Mewis got on the scoreboard again in the second half when her upfield pressure paid off and she was able to take advantage of a poor clearance by the South Africa goalkeeper. Carli Lloyd then buried a late strike through three South Africa players to cement the final 3-0 scoreline and move into fourth on the WNT’s all-time goals scored list. The U.S. finished the match out-shooting South Africa 19-5 and accumulating 70 percent of possession.

Up Next: The WNT travels to St. Louis, Missouri to take on New Zealand on May 16 (7 p.m. CT; ESPN2) at Busch Stadium in the second game of the Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods.

How did the U.S. look in their first warm-up match?

US Youth Soccer National League accepting applications for 2019-20 season

FRISCO, Texas (May 13, 2019) — Beginning today, the national tier of the US Youth Soccer Leagues Program — the US Youth Soccer National League — is accepting team applications for its 2019-20 seasonal year. Applications are due Friday, July 5, 2019. National League competition will be held for the 14U (2006), 15U (2005), 16U (2004), 17U (2003), 18U (2002) and 19U (2001) Boys and Girls age groups.

For the 2019-20 seasonal year, the participating National League teams are determined through a combination of qualifiers and selected teams. Teams can earn acceptance into the National League in one of four ways:

  • Top finishers in the 2018-19 US Youth Soccer National League (national tier) re-earn 2019-20 NL slots (the number of slots varies from age group to age group)
  • 2018-19 Conference (multi-state tier) teams earn 2019-20 NL slots (process varies among age groups and conferences)
  • 2019 National Championship Series Regional Champions/Representatives earn 2019-20 NL slots
  • Open slots are filled by eligible teams who submit applications (as determined by the National League team selection committee)

All teams who would like to participate in the National League must submit an application.

Teams for the 2019-20 season are expected to be announced around August 1, 2019, following this summer’s US Youth Soccer National Championships.


LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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