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2015 U.S. Open Cup first and second round draw

Here are the matchups in the first and second rounds of this year's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Major League Soccer teams, including the Union, enter in the fourth round, which will be contested on June 16 and 17. Until then, teams in the many lower leagues across the U.S. will make their way through the bracket.

A total of 91 teams make up this year's field. That's the most ever in the tournament's modern era, which dates back to 1995. The competition begins with the Play-In Round, featuring four amateur teams, on April 25. The winners will join 40 more amateur teams in the First Round, which will be played on May 13.

(I can't help noting that one of the Play-In Round games will take place at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, one of my favorite sporting venues anywhere in the United States. With all due respect to the San Jose Earthquakes' lovely new home in Santa Clara, I will forever wish that MLS could have found a way to make a home at Kezar. The reality, of course, is that it would have been close to impossible to build a modern facility within the tight confines of the venue and San Francisco's street gred. So if you are reading this in the Bay Area, I hope you get to the Open Cup game.)

USL clubs enter in the second round, which takes place May 19 and 20. North American Soccer League clubs enter in the third round on May 27.

There are a series of rules in place that encourage geographical proximity (to cut down on travel costs) and to discourage matchups between teams that are formally affiliated in any capacity. Those rules are explained on U.S. Soccer's website, and they are clear enough that I don't think they need re-interpreting here.

One of the 40 amateur teams that will enter in the second round is Reading United, a partner of the Union in the USL's Premier Development League. They'll host the U.S. Adult Soccer Association's Maryland Bays in Elkridge. Originally, the Bays were drawn to host the game, but after switching the venue multiple times, the privilege was apparently taken from them.

Yes, the latter club is the same one that won three straight National Challenge Cups (the Open Cup's previous name) in 1967, 1968 and 1969, and a fourth title in 1974. Only two clubs in the tournament's entire history - Bethlehem Steel and Maccabi Los Angeles - have won it more.

If Reading wins, it will host the Harrisburg City Islanders, the Union's USL affiliate in the second round. Now, you might be wondering why Reading and Harrisburg can play each other, given both clubs' ties to the Union. The answer is that Reading has more of a commercial partnership with the Union, whereas Harrisburg's affiliation includes the ability players back and forth between the clubs.

For as much as the Union scouts Reading's annual summer harvest of college talent, the MLS club has no direct right to sign any of those players unless they're eligible for Homegrown status.

So we begin the countdown toward another year of competition in a tournament that brings a true sense of history to the American soccer community. And as many of you will recall from the Union's run to last year's final, the Open Cup has a wonderful history in the Philadelphia region.

If you are able to get to an Open Cup game this summer - whether in Reading, Harrisburg, Chester or anywhere else - enjoy it. Know that even if the crowds are sparse, you are helping to weave a special thread in our country's rich soccer tapestry.

Here's the schedule for all of the first and second round games. Matchups are ordered by kickoff time and geography. All times listed are Eastern. Games involving local teams are in italics. I will update the listings after Play-In Round and First Round games are completed.

For a look at the coin flips that determined how the draw was set up, check out Jeff Crandall's write-up on the U.S. Soccer Federation's website.

Saturday, April 25

1. San Francisco City FC (U.S. Club Soccer) vs. Cal FC (USASA): Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, Calif. (5:00 p.m.)

2. Harpo's FC (U.S. Specialty Sports Association) vs. K.C. Athletics (USASA): Dick's Sporting Goods Park Field 20, Commerce City, Colo. (6:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, May 13

1. Reading United A.C. (PDL) vs. Maryland Bays (USASA): Don Thomas Stadium, Exeter High School, Reading, Pa. (7:00 p.m.)

2. Western Mass. Pioneers (PDL) vs. Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL): Lusitano Stadium, Ludlow, Mass. (7:00 p.m.)

3. AC Connecticut (PDL) vs. Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) : Westside Athletic Complex, Danbury, Conn. (7:00 p.m.)

4. West Virginia Chaos (PDL) vs. Fort Pitt Regiment (NPSL): Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium, Charleston, W.V. (7:00 p.m.)

5. Upward Stars (NPSL) vs. Triangle Brigade (USASA): Star Center, Spartanburg, S.C. (7:00 p.m.)

6. Miami United (NPSL) vs. Southwest Florida Adrenaline (PDL): Milander Park, Hialeah, Fla. (7:00 p.m.)

7. Lansing United (NPSL) vs. RWB Adria (USASA): East Lansing Soccer Complex, East Lansing, Mich. (7:00 p.m.)

8. Chattanooga FC (NPSL) vs. Ocala Stampede (PDL): Finley Stadium, Chattanooga, Tenn. (7:30 p.m.)

9. Michigan Bucks (PDL) vs. Detroit City FC (NPSL): Ultimate Soccer Arenas, Pontiac, Mich. (7:30 p.m.)

10. Jersey Express (PDL) vs. New York Greek American Atlas (USASA): NJIT Soccer Stadium, Newark, N.J. (8:00 p.m.)

11. Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) vs. Brooklyn Italians (NPSL): St. Anthony's High School, South Huntington, N.Y. (8:00 p.m.)

12. Global Premier Soccer (USASA) vs. Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL): Bennett Field, Wayland, Mass. (8:00 p.m.)

13. Des Moines Menace (PDL) vs. Madison Fire (USASA): Valley Stadium, West Des Moines, Iowa (8:30 p.m.)

14. Midland/Odessa Sockers (PDL) vs. Tulsa Athletics (NPSL): Grande Communications Stadium, Midland, Texas (8:30 p.m.)

15. Laredo Heat (PDL) vs. NTX Rayados (USASA): Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex, Laredo, Texas (9:15 p.m.)

16. BYU Cougars (PDL) vs. KC Athletics (USASA) or Harpo's FC (USSSA): BYU South Stadium, Provo, Utah (9:30 p.m.)

17. Sonoma County Sol (NPSL) vs. Burlingame Dragons (PDL): Santa Rosa High School, Santa Rosa, Calif. (10:00 p.m.)

18. Ventura County Fusion (PDL) vs. Cal FC (USASA) or San Francisco City FC (US Club Soccer: Ventura College Sportsplex, Ventura, Calif. (10:00 p.m.)

19. PSA Elite (USASA) vs. Golden State Misioneros FC (PDL): Weingart Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif. (10:00 p.m.)

20. FC Tacoma 253 (NPSL) vs. Kitsap Pumas (PDL): Mount Tahoma Stadium, Tacoma, Wash. (10:30 p.m.)

21. FC Tucson (PDL) vs. Chula Vista FC (USASA): Kino North Stadium, Tucson, Ariz. (10:30 p.m.)

Tuesday May 19

1a. Detroit City FC (NPSL) vs. Portland Timbers 2 (USL): Ferndale High School, Ferndale, Mich. (7:30 p.m.)

1b. Michigan Bucks (PDL) vs. Portland Timbers 2 (USL): Ultimate Soccer Arenas, Pontiac, Mich. (7:30 p.m.)

Wednesday, May 20

1. Rochester Rhinos (USL) vs. Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL) or Western Mass. Pioneers (PDL)Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester, N.Y. (7:00 p.m.)

2. Fort Pitt Regiment (NPSL) or West Virginia Chaos (PDL) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL): Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pa. (7:00 p.m.)

3a. Reading United A.C. (PDL) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL): Don Thomas Stadium, Exeter High School, Reading, Pa. (7:00 p.m.)
3b. Maryland Bays (USASA) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL): Calvert Hall College High School, Towson, Md. (8:00 p.m.)

4. Richmond Kickers (USL) vs. AC Connecticut (PDL) or Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL): Richmond City Stadium, Richmond, Va. (7:00 p.m.)

5. Wilmington Hammerheads (USL) vs. Ocala Stampede (PDL) or Chattanooga FC (NPSL: Legion Stadium, Wilmington, N.C. (7:00 p.m.)

8. Charlotte Independence (USL) vs. Triangle Brigade (USASA) or Upward Stars (NPSL): Ramblewood Sports Complex, Charlotte, N.C. (7:30 p.m.)

9. Charleston Battery (USL) vs. SW Florida Adrenaline (PDL) or Miami United (NPSL): Blackbaud Stadium, Charleston, S.C. (7:30 p.m.)

12. Saint Louis FC (USL) vs. Madison Fire (USASA) or Des Moines Menace (PDL): St. Louis Soccer Park, Fenton, Mo. (8:00 p.m.)

14. Austin Aztex (USL) vs. NTX Rayados (USASA) or Laredo Heat (PDL): House Park, Austin, Texas (9:00 p.m.)

15. Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL) vs. KC Athletics (USASA) or Harpo's FC (USSSA) or BYU Cougars (PDL)Sand Creek Stadium, Colorado Springs, Colo. (9:00 p.m.)

17. Arizona United SC (USL) vs. Chula Vista FC (USASA) or FC Tucson (PDL)Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale, Ariz. (10:30 p.m.)

18. Seattle Sounders 2 (USL) vs. Kitsap Pumas (PDL) or FC Tacoma 253 (NPSL) winnerStarfire Stadium, Tukwila, Wash. (10:30 p.m.)

19. Sacramento Republic (USL) vs. Burlingame Dragons (PDL) or Sonoma County Sol (NPSL): Bonney Field, Sacramento, Calif. (10:30 p.m.)

20. Los Angeles Galaxy II (USL) vs. Cal FC (USASA) or San Francisco City FC (U.S. Club Soccer) or Ventura County Fusion (PDL): StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium, Carson, Calif. (10:30 p.m.)