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LA Galaxy II to Play Host to Irvine Zeta FC in First Round of 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

March 2, 2024 - MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro)
LA Galaxy II News Release

LOS ANGELES - U.S. Soccer today announced the First Round matchups for the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with LA Galaxy II playing host to National Independent Soccer Association side Irvine Zeta FC at Dignity Health Sports Park's Track & Field Stadium on Thursday, March 21 (7:30 p.m. PT).

The U.S. Open Cup First Round match between LA Galaxy II and Irvine Zeta FC at Dignity Health Sports Park's Track & Field Stadium on Thursday, March 21 will be open to the public. Tickets for the First Round match will not be required, but standard event policies will be in effect.

The First Round of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup - U.S. Soccer's annual club championship - kicks off with 64 teams and 32 First Round games across the country between March 19-21.

The 32 contests of the First Round will pit amateurs from the Open Division and Third Division Professional clubs in direct competition -- with massive potential for dramatic outcomes and underdog storylines. The upcoming First Round will mark the first time since 2008 that all matchups will be exclusively contested between amateur and professional teams. Overall, this year's edition of the tournament will feature the most First Round matchups between amateur and professional teams in the tournament's 109-year history, more than doubling the previous amount of 16.

The Open Division sides will consist of the 11 winners from the four Qualifying Rounds held between September and November of last year. They will be joined in the amateur ranks by SC MesoAmerica -- last year's USASA National Amateur Cup winner and the 2023 Spring's UPSL National Champion AS Frenzi of Florida. Eight more teams will come from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and 11 more from USL's League Two.

The Division III Pro sides taking part in the First Round will come from MLS NEXT Pro (11) - debuting as a league in the historic Open Cup - the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) (9) and USL League One (12).

Pairings between the amateur and professional teams in the First Round were drawn geographically while accounting for available venues. When there was no logical geographic pairing or three or more one teams in the same proximity, pairings were determined by random selection. Hosts were selected by random selection.

The 32 winners of the First Round will play each other in the Second Round of the tournament in early April.

The winners of that Second Round will then be matched up against the 16 Division II professional teams from the USL Championship which will enter the competition in the Third Round. The remaining eight USL Championship teams and eight Major League Soccer (MLS) teams (Atlanta United FC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo FC (Defending U.S. Open Cup Champion), Los Angeles FC, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC and Sporting Kansas City) will enter the 2024 Open Cup in the Round of 32, along with the winners from the Third Round.

LA Galaxy II are one of 11 MLS NEXT Pro Teams that are competing in the 2024 edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The 11 MLS NEXT Pro teams include nine MLS affiliates (Austin FC II, Chicago Fire FC II, Colorado Rapids 2, Crown Legacy Football Club, MNUFC2, New York Red Bulls II, LA Galaxy II, NYCFC II, Timbers 2) and two independent clubs (Carolina Core FC, Chattanooga FC). The nine MLS-affiliated teams competing will be based on the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro final standings, other than those clubs whose MLS first teams are participating in either the 2024 U.S. Open Cup or 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.

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