Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Sounders U23 add the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup competition to season ticket
The Sounders U23 will participate in the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The PDL affiliate to Sounders FC qualifies with an at large bid finishing the 2016 PDL season as the highest American point total team in the PDL Northwest Division. The 2015 PDL Western Conference Champions will add all Open Cup games to the season ticket package for the season. The schedule in regards to opponents is yet to be determined with games kicking off in early May.
(From the Premier Development League)
TAMPA, Fla. - Led by the 2016 PDL Championship winners Michigan Bucks, a total of 21 Premier Development League franchises - the most in league history - have earned a spot in the First Round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
"The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup provides a unique opportunity for amateur players in the PDL to be exposed to professional clubs and competition across North America while taking part in one of the world's longest-running soccer tournaments," PDL Director Todd Eason said. "We are thrilled to have a record-high 21 of our teams taking part in 2017 and look forward to supporting each and every one of our clubs as they attempt to make a deep run in the tournament."
The teams set to compete in the opening stage of the competition on May 10 include FC Tucson, the Charlotte Eagles, the Des Moines Menace, Reading United AC, the OKC Energy U23, the Fresno Fuego, The Villages SC, GPS Portland Phoenix, the Carolina Dynamo, San Diego Zest FC, the South Florida Surf, the Ocean City Nor'easters, the FC Golden State Force, Chicago FC United, the Western Mass Pioneers, the Sounders FC U23, the Ventura County Fusion, SC United Bantams, Burlingame Dragons FC, the Derby City Rovers and the Bucks.
Each 2016 PDL division winner - the Bucks, Tucson, Eagles, Menace, Reading United, Energy U23, Fuego, The Villages SC and the Phoenix - qualified for this year's edition of the tournament, while the Sounders U23 were the highest-finishing U.S.-based team in the Northwest Division.
The pairings for the First Round of the tournament, as well as the Second Round possible matchups, will be revealed by U.S. Soccer on April 12.
Teams from the United Soccer League will enter the 104th edition of the tournament in the Second Round, with a USL record-high 18 teams taking part. The Charleston Battery, Charlotte Independence, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, FC Cincinnati, Harrisburg City Islanders, Louisville City FC, OKC Energy FC, Orange County SC, Phoenix Rising FC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Reno 1868 FC, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Sacramento Republic FC, Saint Louis FC, San Antonio FC, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Tulsa Roughnecks FC will begin play on May 17.
The Third Round will take place on May 31, and then Major League Soccer clubs will begin U.S. Open Cup play in the Fourth Round on June 14.
The team that advances furthest from the Open Division, which the PDL is a part of, will earn a $15,000 cash prize.
Season tickets for Sounders U23 can be purchased here :
Information about the 2017 Premier Development Northwest Division schedule for your Sounders U23 can be found at www.soundersu23.com .
The developmental leader in North American soccer's evolving tiered structure, the PDL features 72 teams within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals, with nearly 70 percent of MLS draftees since 2010 having PDL experience. Sixteen of the PDL's current members are owned and operated by a professional club, or hold a partnership with a professional club. The PDL provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions.
Sounders U23/Sounders Women
The Sounders U23 and Sounders Women teams are owned and operated by owners Lane Smith, Cliff McElroy, and Mike Jennings.
The Sounders U23 play in the Northwest Division of the Premier Development League (PDL) and the Sounders Women play in the WPSL. Featuring current college age amateur players with former international and professional stars, both the PDL and the WPSL provide elite amateurs the opportunity to compete while maintaining their eligibility as college student-athletes. Both the PDL and the WPSL are recognized throughout the world for providing superior competition for players, while offering affordable family entertainment for fans throughout North America. The Sounders U23 team is the direct PDL affiliate to the Sounders FC first team and USL S2 team.
Sounders U23/Sounders Women VP/GM: Darren Sawatzky (Darrens@SoundersU23.com)