US Soccer has announced the Derby City Rovers will host Tartan Devils FC – Oak Avalon in the first round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The match-up, which will determine the 2nd round opponent of Louisville City FC, will take place on Wednesday, May 10th, 7:30pm, at the Rovers home turf, Woehrle Field in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
The announcement came yesterday afternoon as all 21 Open Cup qualifiers from the Premier Development League (PDL) learned their first round fate along with the possible second round scenarios in the tournament which is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the US and the world’s third longest running open soccer tournament. The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup features teams from every level of the American soccer pyramid in a tiered-bracket, single knockout tournament format similar to that of England’s FA Cup, or Spain’s Copa del Rey. The 104th edition of the Cup will be contested by 43 professional clubs from Major League Soccer (MLS), the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the United Soccer League (USL) entering the competition starting in the second round, along with 56 amateur clubs who earned their spot in the first round either through their league performance in 2016 (PDL teams qualify based on league standings from the previous season) or preliminary qualifying rounds which took place last fall.
The PDL is the proven leader in North American soccer’s evolving tiered structure, featuring 72 franchises in four conferences through the US and Canada, including 16 clubs that are owned and operated by a professional club or that hold a partnership with a professional club. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world, with nearly 70 percent of all MLS selections since 2010 having PDL experience. The PDL season consists of 14 regular season matches for each team, seven home and seven away, and provides elite young players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their collegiate eligibility.
The Derby City Rovers were founded in 2011, beginning play in the PDL that summer. In the fall of 2012 the Rovers launched their Youth Academy with the goal of grooming local players from the grassroots level all the way to the professional ranks. The clubs motto of Swashbuckling Futbol celebrates skill and creativity and rouses its players to compete with passion rather than simply to achieve a result.