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The History of Soccer runs deep in Rhode Island. RIFC to face Charlotte Independence in the third round of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The birthplace of the tournament back in 1941 was Pawtucket, RI.

Updated: Apr 16

In a few hours, Rhode Island FC will make their inaugural debut in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, taking on Charlotte Independence. RIFC joined 16 other USL Championship clubs entering the competition in the Third Round. This is the club's first non-USL Championship action, and an opportunity to showcase their squad to more viewers across the country.

For those of you wondering what this cup tournament is, The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the longest continuously-running men’s national soccer tournament in the United States, dating back to 1914, and embarking on its 109 edition this year. This national tournament features 96 clubs from across the United States at all levels, ranging from the MLS through the Amateur level, and of course, featuring the USL Championship League.

For fans of the game, it is an incredible journey to watch. For Rhode Islanders, this cup has deep roots in the state's history.

Next season, Rhode Island FC will call Pawtucket their home. Poetically, the Open Cup was born in Pawtucket. It was on May 16th, 1914. The stages were set at Coasts Field in the city, where over 8000 fans watched the Brooklyn Field Club beat Brooklyn Celtic 2-1. Tickets at the time were 25 cents, and Bob Millar was present on the pitch. He later coached the USMNT to the 1930 World Cup Semi-Finals.

Rhode Island would go on to host the Finals eight times ( Pawtucket 7, Tiverton 1), with Pawtucket FC winning it all in 1941.

It's a full-circle moment for the club and the state, and it also proves the further point that the sport has deep ties and true meaning in the 401.


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