Nine Ohio teams have joined together to form the Ohio Heart Cup. The participating teams include Cleveland SC, FC Columbus, Toledo Villa FC, Cincinnati Dutch Lions, Dayton Dutch Lions, Amish Country United, Forest City FC, Club Toledo, and Youngstown Nighthawks. The competition will include club teams and teams from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), USL League Two, and Northern Ohio Soccer League (NOSL).
“The Ohio Heart Cup is a platform for Ohio soccer fans to get competitive soccer closer to home,” Ohio Heart Cup Director Samuel T. Seibert said. “With all of the options out there for teams to compete, these nine Ohio teams want to make sure there is a true Ohio Champion every year. Ohio is ‘the heart of it all’ and we feel the Heart Cup will continue that sentiment.”
The teams will be divided into three groups. The teams will compete in a round-robin format, creating two matches per team with at least one host match in the group stage.
The top six points gatherers will move into the tournament stage. The tournament is a knockout round format. The tournament stage will allow for the top two point recipients of the group stage to receive a bye in the tournament and guaranteed hosting of the second-round match. The remaining four teams will be seeded based on points of the group stage. The final two teams will compete for the Ohio Heart Cup at a mutually agreeable location.
The group stage will take place between April 1 and May 31, followed by the first round of the tournament (June 15), second round of the tournament (June 30), and the championship match (July 11).
More information can be found at ohioheartcup.com. Tickets can be purchased at the respective clubs.