Photo Credit: Brent Durken / 6th City Photography
AFC Cleveland will face the Des Moines Menace (PDL) at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, IA on Wednesday, May 10, per today’s initial pairings announcement for the First Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The winner of the match will face FC Cincinnati (USL) in the Second Round, as a result of today’s draw.
The Royals made their first appearance in the U.S. Open Cup in 2016, where they advanced to the Second Round after defeating PDL side GPS Portland Phoenix 1-0. AFC Cleveland was ultimately thwarted 2-0 by the USL’s Saint Louis FC in the Second Round. Last year, AFC Cleveland was the most traveled team in the first two rounds of the competition, having to trek over 1,250 miles to Portland, ME and St. Louis, MO. This year, the Royals will follow a similar trend by traveling over 650 miles in the first round alone.
The 104th U.S. Open Cup will see a record 99 clubs compete for the cup, including the involvement of 18 National Premier Soccer League clubs. AFC Cleveland qualified for the tournament as 2016 NPSL Champions.