Thursday, April 5th, 2018 -- First round matchups have been announced for three of the Arizona teams competing in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup.
On Wednesday, May 9th, FC Tucson will host La Maquina FC and FC Arizona will play host to Sporting AZ FC at Mesa Community College.
Phoenix Rising FC enters the tournament in the second round which will be played on May 16. Phoenix Rising cannot face FC Tucson, due to them owning the club, which means they will most likely face the winner of FC Arizona and Sporting AZ FC as the U.S. Open Cup tends to keep matchups local in the early rounds.
FC Tucson is no stranger to the U.S. Open Cup as they have qualified for competition in 2013 and 2015-2017. The furthest they have advanced was in 2013 when they suffered a 2-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo in the Third Round. Last year, Phoenix Rising advanced to the Third Round, but they were defeated by NASL's San Francisco Deltas. This will be the first time that FC Arizona and Sporting AZ FC will compete.
The furthest an Arizona team has ever advanced was in 2014 when Arizona United made it to the Fourth Round and suffered a 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy. This year's tournament will see a tiered bracket and eight rounds of single-elimination play until a champion is crowned in September 18.
A total of 52 Open Division teams (clubs from PDL, NPSL, and local qualifying) will enter the first round on May 9th. 22 clubs from the USL will enter in the Second Round on May 16 and the Third Round will take place on May 23 and the the Major League Soccer clubs will joining in the Fourth Round on June 6.
The 2018 U.S. Open Cup winner will earn increased prize money ($300,000) a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League and have its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports.