New England Soccer Today

GPS Omens Among Local USOC Qualifying Entrants

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Giant-slaying GPS Omens is among nine amateur clubs from New England vying for a spot in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup tournament after U.S. Soccer announced the entrants for Open Division Local Qualifying, which kicks off next month.

Joining Omens in the New England nine are Massachusetts-based Mass United (ASL), Kendall Wanderers (BSSL), Southie FC (BSSL), Unations (BSSL), Safira FC (New England Over the Hill Soccer League), Boston Siege FC (UPSL) and Lynn United (UPSL). Connecticut’s Newtown Pride FC (CSL) also joins the regional contingent, which are part of a field of 108 clubs.

Earlier this year, Omens beat PDL’s GPS Portland Phoenix and NPSL’s Boston City FC before falling to USL outfit Rochester Rhinos on the road in extra time.

Nearly all of the 108 entrants – which smashed last year’s record of 64 – will see action in the first qualifying round, set for Sept. 23-24, with the match-ups announced today by U.S. Soccer. The history-filled annual tournament, entering its 105th year, is perhaps the only high-profile competition in American team sports where amateur sides, should they advance far enough, have the opportunity to face professionals in meaningful competition.

Open Division Local Qualifying – as this portion of the competition is called – will be conducted on a single-game, knockout basis. Match-ups are determined geographically to minimize travel time and expense, with random selection used when practicable to determine exact pairings.

Home teams are determined by coin flip. The pairings for the second (Oct. 21-22) and third (Nov. 18-19) qualifying rounds will be determined and announced after each preceding round of games has taken place. The survivors after three qualifying rounds will advance to the first round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup next spring.

The first round of 2018 local qualifying will take place the weekend following the 2017 Final between three-time champion Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls (Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. CT, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes).

In other Open Cup news, the National Premier Soccer League has elected to use the Open Division National Leagues track for qualifying, joining the Premier Development League, which made the same election last month.

The NPSL will use 2017 league results to determine its clubs that advance to the Open Cup First Round, thus bypassing the local qualifying process. League champion Elm City Express, Hartford City FC, and Boston City are all expected to grab NPSL spots via the Open Division National Leagues route.

The First Qualifying Round of Open Division Local Qualifying Schedule for the New England outfits follows. The full schedule can be found here.

First Qualifying Round
Northeast Region
Game (home team listed first)

Sept. 23
Unations FC (Mass.) vs. Safira FC (Mass.)
10 a.m. ET
Burncoat High School; Worcester, Mass.

Sept. 23
Kendall Wanderers (Mass.) vs. Boston Siege FC (Mass.)
12 p.m. ET
Danehy Park; Cambridge, Mass.

Sept. 23
Southie FC (Mass.) vs. Mass United FC (Mass.)
4 p.m. ET
Medford High School; Medford, Mass.

Sept. 23
Lynn United (Mass.) vs. GPS Omens (Mass.)
7 p.m. ET
Manning Stadium; Lynn, Mass.

Sept. 24
New York Pancyprian Freedoms (N.Y.) vs. Newtown Pride FC (Conn.)
12 p.m. ET
Belson Stadium (St. John’s Univ.); Jamaica, N.Y.

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