Here at the Beautiful Game Network, we have a very exciting tournament to announce. We have grown in numbers for the network, with 24 clubs represented in the USL Championship, twelve in the East and West Conference. This got me thinking, we need a BGN Cup of all teams represented in the network.

The format for this cup will be a simple league set-up, playing everyone else in your conference twice (home-and-home), for a total of 22 matches in the East, 24 matches in the West. Only matches between clubs represented in BGN will count–for example, Bethlehem v Pittsburgh would count, but Ottawa v Pittsburgh would not count. 288 BGN Cup matches stand before us, ready for a raucous season of USL Championship soccer.

Whichever side tops their respective conference will that conference’s BGN Cup, an East and West Cup will be awarded. Next, whoever advances further of the conference cup winners in the playoffs (with tiebreakers if they exit in the same round going to whoever scored more goals in the round), will win the overall BGN Cup for the year. Tiebreakers in the table will be broken in the similar manner USL breaks tiebreakers (wins, goal difference, goals scored).

Eastern Conference

Rank Teams Played Won Lost Drawn Points
1 Tampa Bay Rowdies 3 2 0 1 7
2 Saint Louis FC 3 2 0 1 7
3 North Carolina FC 1 1 0 0 3
4 Memphis 901 FC 2 1 1 0 3
5 Atlanta United 2 1 0 0 1 1
6 Charlotte Independance 1 0 0 1 1
7 New York Red Bulls 2 1 0 0 1 1
8 Nashville SC 2 0 1 1 1
9 Charleston Battery 0 0 0 0 0
10 Indy Eleven 1 0 1 0 0
11 Bethlehem Steel FC 2 0 2 0 0
12 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 1 0 1 0 0

Western Conference

Rank Teams Played Won Lost Drawn Points
1 Portland Timbers 2 3 2 0 1 7
2 Sacramento Republic FC 2 2 0 0 6
3 Fresno FC 3 1 0 2 5
4 Tulsa Roughnecks FC 2 1 0 1 4
5 New Mexico United 3 0 0 3 3
6 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 2 1 1 0 3
7 OKC Energy FC 2 1 1 0 3
8 Phoenix Rising FC 2 0 0 2 2
9 Reno 1868 FC 2 0 0 2 2
10 Orange County SC 3 0 1 2 2
11 El Paso Locomotive FC 2 0 1 1 1
12 Rio Grande Valley FC 2 0 1 1 1
13 San Antonio FC 3 0 2 1 1
14 Las Vegas Lights FC 1 0 1 0 0

We intend to update the table as the season moves forward, with the first matches of the cup beginning at the season’s inception, March 9th, three West matches–Reno v Orange County, San Antonio v Phoenix Rising, and Tulsa v Portland 2–and two East matches–Saint Louis v Indy Eleven and Memphis v Tampa Bay. The BGN Cup will conclude its fixture list on October 19th, coinciding with the end of the USL Championship season. By then, we will have crowned our new BGN Cup conference winners!

Also of note, the most games of BGN Cup on any given day of the season that we will see is eight total matches across both conference competitions. Most notably, the first occurance of this eight match day is March 16th, just as the season begins to heat up!

We will also keep track of goal scorers in BGN Cup matches and award a “BGN Cup Golden Boot” winner to the player who scores the most goals in BGN Cup matches.

We are excited for the dawn of this new cup, wish all competing clubs the best of luck and hope to add to the legendary lore of lower division cups in the United States!