JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Three clubs that had been competing in the North American Soccer League, who are now set to open play in the National Premier Soccer League, including the Jacksonville Armada, received berths in the U.S. Open Cup, the oldest soccer tournament in the United States.
"We are very thankful to the Open Cup committee and the various people that have worked hard for this to come to a resolution that works for everyone,” said Armada FC president and general manager Nathan Walter. “We are excited to compete in the longest-running competition in this country."
The decision was made by U.S. Soccer’s Open Cup Committee earlier this week and the three teams are required to confirm their participation. Jacksonville confirmed its participation Friday night. Miami FC 2 and New York Cosmos B were also granted berths. A statement on the decision from the Open Cup Committee:
"The Committee carefully considered the teams’ exceptional situation which involved all three moving from Professional Division II status in 2017 to solely Open Division league participation earlier this year. Since the move occurred after the Open Division league’s 2018 Open Cup entry deadline in mid-2017, the Committee decided to allow the three teams the opportunity to compete in the 2018 edition of the U.S. Open Cup."
Upon confirming their participation, the three teams will enter the competition via a play-in round scheduled for the weekend of May 5-6. The winners of these play-in games will advance to the first round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 9.
The opponents in the play-in round will be one team drawn from the NPSL and two from the Premier Development League (PDL) that have already qualified for the competition and are in close geographical proximity to the three invited teams. After identifying the list of possible opponents meeting these criteria, the exact opponents will be selected by random draw in cases where multiple options exist.
The Armada are scheduled to open NPSL play on April 28 on the road at Miami FC.
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