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Standings from first three games will determine MLS entries for U.S. Open Cup

Field reduced from 24 to 16 teams

SOCCER: SEP 20 US Open Cup - New York Red Bulls at Sporting Kansas City Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The first three weeks of the MLS season will determine which eight teams participate in the abbreviated version of the U.S. Open Cup in 2021.

MLS announced Monday that the standings from the first three matches of the season will determine which teams will be selected to join the field, which has been reduced from 24 to 16 teams.

The teams will be decided by points, but there is also a whole range of tie-breakers to determine which teams ultimately make it into the competition.

The other eight spots will be made up of four teams from Division II (El Paso Locomotive FC, Louisville City FC, Phoenix Rising FC, Tampa Bay Rowdies), two from Division III (Detroit City FC and Greenville Triumph SC) and two from the amateur ranks.

A two-round drawing will be done to determine the two teams from the open division.

Vereinigung Erzgebirge is one of 12 teams among the local qualifiers that will be narrowed to one for the first round while Atlantic City FC and West Chester United will be among 13 teams narrowed down to one in the NPSL drawing. USL League Two will choose one team from a pool of 10 and 2019 National Amateur Cup champions Newtown Pride FC will be part of a four-team final drawing to determine the two teams that make the field.