When US Soccer made the announcement of a schedule change for the 2020 US Open Cup, there was rampant speculation that teams in the NPSL and USL-2 wouldn’t be able to field teams due to their reliance on college players. Reading United was the first team to withdraw citing the availability of players as the root cause.
Update: 12/18/19 Diablos have confirmed their participation in the 2020 US Open Cup.
Not so with Denton Diablos, says owner Damon Gochneaur. “We are excited and humbled by the USOC opportunity, and should it materialize, we will be ready.”
Unlike Fort Worth Vaqueros – who recently switched to a semi-pro status and don’t use NCAA players – many, perhaps even most, teams in the NPSL and USL-2 use college players as their core or as the entire make up of their team. With most college students in class until the end of April that means big adjustments for teams.
While the Diablos won’t know for sure if they are in the 2020 US Open Cup until January, Gochneaur says the club planned ahead. “We won’t be able to use active NCAA players for our 1st and potential 2nd round games, but we anticipated this and have been preparing accordingly.”
NPSL and USL-2 sides taking part in the 2020 Open Cup will be decided after the number of Open Division spots is determined. Participating NPSL and USL-2 teams will be chosen based on the 2019 standings.
Both Diablos and Vaqueros are likely to be included in the 2020 US Open Cup with Denton having finished 2nd in the Lone Star Conference and Vaqueros winning the Lone Star Conference Championship.
Dallas City FC (4th in the Lone Star Conference) and Texas United (5th in Mid South Division) are unlikely to be participating due to positions in their relative leagues’ standings.
2020 US Open Cup Calendar
March 24-25 First Round (Amateur, NPSL and USL-2 clubs enter)
April 7-9 Second Round (USL-C, USL-1, and NISA enter)
April 21-23 Third Round (First group of MLS teams enter, including FC Dallas)