The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is one of the oldest soccer competitions in America. Yesterday, the U.S. Open Cup held its draw for placing teams in the tournament.
The tournament features 64 teams from 19 different states. Mississippi Brilla is the only team from Mississippi to qualify for the cup. The only other appearance by Brilla in the U.S. Open Cup was in 2009, when Brilla traveled to play against the United Soccer League First Division's Austin Aztex, now known as the Orlando City Lions. The Brilla fell in that game by a 2-0 score.
The U.S. Open Cup was first held in 1913-14 and named the National Challenge Cup. The tournament also features the three-time defending champion Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer.
In the first round this year, Brilla will travel to Conyers, Ga., May 15 to face the Georgia Revolution of the National Premiere Soccer League. This is the first appearance by the Revolution in the U.S. Open Cup.
"It is a real honor to play in the Open Cup with the history and tradition of the competition," Mississippi Brilla FC Head Coach Dave Dixon said. "It is a great opportunity for teams like us to test ourselves against professional teams. We are really excited for the opportunity and will put our best foot forward against a quality side in the Georgia Revolution."
If Brilla defeats the Revolution, they will face the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League. In an interesting twist, if Brilla ends up facing the Silverbacks, the club will face two former players: Lucas Paulini and Willie Hunt. Paulini and Hunt played with Brilla from 2009-10 and were big parts of Brilla's first U.S. Open Cup appearance. If Brilla gets past Atlanta in the second round, a MLS club will await the Brilla in the third round.