The third round will see the Cosmos face off against a lower division club, one that will be determined by a draw after the second round concludes. In last season's tournament, that first opponent was the Brooklyn Italians. U.S. based MLS sides will enter the tournament in the fourth round, beginning in mid-June, and the regional pairing format used by U.S. Soccer increases the odds of a second straight year where the Cosmos play a New York based MLS side.
For the Cosmos, this tournament takes on a little added significance, as winning it is currently the only route available if they want to play in the CONCACAF Champions League. In 2014, the club managed to advance to the fifth round of the tournament, where they lost in controversial fashion to the Philadelphia Union.