New England Soccer Today

Seven NE-based Amateur Sides Get USOC Slots

Photo credit: Newtown Pride FC

Photo credit: Newtown Pride FC

Seven amateur sides from New England were among the 36 clubs that were awarded Open Division slots by U.S. Soccer for the 2016 U.S. Open Cup tournament on Wednesday. The Open Division track involves all teams outside of Division I, II and III professional clubs.

The seven clubs that gained entry via the Open Division include five Massachusetts-based sides: Battery Park Gunners (BSSL), GPS Omens (BSSL), Worcester FC (BSSL), Boston Olympiakos (MSSL) and Southie FC (MSSL). Additionally, Connecticut selection Newtown Pride FC (CSL) and Rhode Island outfit Newport FC also earned slots.

First round qualifying for all seven sides will commence during the weekend of Oct. 17-18. The second round will kick off during the weekend of Nov. 14-15.

The 36 slots are comprised of eight places for local qualifying teams (out of 56 entrants), 15 berths for Premier Development League teams (out of 57 entrants) and 13 slots for National Premier Soccer League teams (out of 68 entrants). The 36 teams advancing will enter the 2016 Open Cup in the first round, scheduled for May 11.

The PDL and NPSL, as national leagues, were each given the option and elected to bypass the local qualifying process, instead using 2015 league results to determine their entrants to the 2016 Open Cup tournament. GPS Portland Phoenix punched its ticket to the 2016 tournament after winning the PDL’s Northeast Division over the summer.

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