For the third time in four years, a Wisconsin team will face the Des Moines Menace in the opening round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The Madison Fire of the Wisconsin Soccer Leagues will make the trip to West Des Moines, Iowa, to make their debut in the tournament, which includes teams from every level of soccer in the U.S. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium.
The winner advances to play at Saint Louis FC, an expansion club in the third-tier USL, in a second-round match on May 20. Teams from the second-division North American Soccer League enter play in the third round, and Major League Soccer teams will join the field in the fourth round of the 102nd annual tournament.
The Menace play in the USL Premier Development League, which features predominantly college players. They've ousted two National Premier Soccer League sides from Wisconsin in recent years, getting past the Milwaukee Bavarians 3-1 after extra time in 2012 in Glendale and topping the Madison 56ers 1-0 in 2013.
The Fire have long been a fixture in the Madison Soccer Association, and are in their first season in the WSL Major Division. After going 3-5-2 during the fall portion of the season, they rolled past SC Waukesha Blue 6-0 in their spring opener Sunday behind three goals from Ryan Hanna (Verona/UW-Oshkosh).
The Madison side earned its spot in the U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 victory over FC Indiana in the U.S. Adult Soccer Association Region II tournament last fall. Ali Barry (Madison West) scored the lone goal and Demba Camara (Sun Prairie/Ripon) recorded the clean sheet in the Oct. 4 match at Reddan Soccer Park in Verona. It was the only game of the regional tournament, as just three teams entered the competition – KC Athletics claimed the other Region II berth without having to play.
With 91 teams, this is the largest field in U.S. Open Cup history. The play-in round and first round feature 44 amateur teams: 19 from the PDL, 12 from the NPSL, 11 from the USASA and one each from U.S. Club Soccer and the U.S. Specialty Sports Association. Twenty-one USL teams face first-round winners in the second round.
The winning team will earn $250,000 and a berth in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League, along with having its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest trophies in American team sports history. The runner-up will collect $60,000, and the team that advances the furthest from each of the lower divisions will be awarded $15,000.
Saturday, April 25
Cal FC (USASA) at San Francisco City FC (U.S. Club Soccer), 4 p.m.
KC Athletics (USASA) at Harpo's FC, Colo. (USSSA), time and location TBD
Wednesday, May 13
Fort Pitt Regiment (NPSL) at West Virginia Chaos (PDL), 6 p.m.
Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL) at Western Mass Pioneers (PDL), 6 p.m.
RWB Adria (USASA) at Lansing United (NPSL), 6 p.m.
SW Florida Adrenaline (PDL) at Miami United (NPSL), 6 p.m.
Triangle Brigade (USASA) at Upward Star, S.C. (NPSL), 6 p.m.
Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) at AC Connecticut (PDL), 6 p.m.
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) at Long Island Rough Riders (PDL), 6:30 p.m.
Detroit City FC (NPSL) at Michigan Bucks (PDL), 6:30 p.m.
Ocala Stampede (PDL) at Chattanooga FC (NPSL), 6:30 p.m.
New York Greek American Atlas (USASA) at Jersey Express (PDL), 7 p.m.
Reading United A.C. (PDL) at Maryland Bays (USASA), 7 p.m.
Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) at Global Premier Soccer, Mass. (USASA), 7 p.m.
Madison Fire (USASA) at Des Moines Menace (PDL), 7:30 p.m.
Tulsa Athletics (NPSL) at Midland/Odessa Sockers, Texas (PDL), 7:30 p.m.
NTX Rayados (USASA) at Laredo Heat, Texas (PDL), 8:15 p.m.
KC Athletics or Harpo's FC at BYU Cougars, Utah (PDL), 8:30 p.m.
Chula Vista FC (USASA) at FC Tucson, Ariz. (PDL), 8:30 p.m.
Kitsap Pumas (PDL) at FC Tacoma 253, Wash. (NPSL), 8:30 p.m.
Burlingame Dragons (PDL) at Sonoma County Sol, Calif. (NPSL), 9 p.m.
Cal FC or San Francisco City FC at Ventura County Fusion, Calif., (PDL), 9 p.m.
Golden State Misioneros FC (PDL) at PSA Elite, Calif., (USASA), 9 p.m.
Wednesday, May 20
Fort Pitt Regiment or West Virginia Chaos at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL), 6 p.m.
Ocala Stampede or Chattanooga FC at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL), 6 p.m.
AC Connecticut or Virginia Beach City FC at Richmond Kickers (USL), 6 p.m.
Greater Binghamton FC Thunder or Western Mass Pioneers at Rochester Rhinos (USL), 6:05 p.m.
Louisville City FC (USL) at Lansing United, Mich., or RWB Adria, Ill., 6 p.m.
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) at Reading United A.C. or Maryland Bays, 6 or 7 p.m.
SW Florida Adrenaline or Miami United at Charleston Battery (USL), 6:30 p.m.
Triangle Brigade or Upward Star at Charlotte Independence (USL), 6:30 p.m.
Portland Timbers 2 (USL) at Detroit City FC or Michigan Bucks, 6:30 p.m.
Real Monarchs SLC (USL) at Long Island Rough Riders, 6:30 p.m., or Brooklyn Italians at Real Monarchs SLC, 8 p.m.
New York Red Bulls II (USL) at Jersey Express, 7 p.m., or New York Greek American Atlas at New York Red Bulls II, 6:30 p.m.
Tulsa Roughnecks (USL) at Global Premier Soccer, 7 p.m. or Seacoast United Phantoms vs. Tulsa Roughnecks, time and location TBA
Madison Fire or Des Moines Menace at Saint Louis FC (USL), 7 p.m.
Oklahoma City Energy (USL) at Midland/Odessa Sockers or Tulsa Athletics, 7:30 p.m.
NTX Rayados or Laredo Heat at Austin Aztex (USL), 8 p.m.
KC Athletics, Harpo's FC or BYU Cougars at Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL), 8 p.m.
Orange County Blues (USL) at PSA Elite or Golden State Misioneros FC, 9 p.m.
Chula Vista FC or FC Tucson at Arizona United SC (USL), 9:30 p.m.
Cal FC, San Francisco City FC or Ventura County Fusion at LA Galaxy II (USL), 9:30 p.m.
Burlingame Dragons or Sonoma County Sol at Sacramento Republic FC (USL), 9:30 p.m.
Kitsap Pumas or FC Tacoma 253 at Seattle Sounders 2 (USL), 9:30 p.m.
Third round: May 27. Second-round winners plus nine NASL teams.
Fourth round: June 16 or 17. Third-round winners plus 17 MLS teams.
Fifth round: June 30 or July 1
Quarterfinals: July 21 or 22
Semifinals: August 11 or 12
Final: Sept. 29 or 30