U.S. SOCCER TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS 2020 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP DUE TO COVID-19 OUTBREAK
Decision Comes as Majority of Participant Leagues Have Suspended Regular Season Schedules for 30 Days
CHICAGO (March 13, 2020) – Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic across the world, U.S. Soccer’s Open Cup Committee has temporarily suspended the 2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer’s National Championship.
“The health and safety of players, coaches, staff and fans is our main priority,” said U.S. Open Cup Commissioner Paul Marstaller. “Given the unique nature of the competition, which encompasses clubs from multiple leagues that have suspended their seasons, we are taking this action and will look to determine future dates to allow the 2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to be played.”
The decision comes as participating professional leagues Major League Soccer, USL Championship, USL League One and National Independent Soccer Association have suspended their regular season schedules for a two-week to 30-day minimum, while the amateur National Premier Soccer League has also partially suspended league play until April 4.
The first three rounds of the 2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup were scheduled for March 24-25, April 7-9 and April 21-23.
The competition (known as the National Challenge Cup at the time) faced a similar circumstance during the pandemic of 1918-1920. During this period, the Open Cup ultimately played through, with record five-time champion Bethlehem Steel winning their third and fourth titles in the spring of 1918 and 1919, respectively, while Saint Louis club Ben Miller FC won in the spring of 1920.