TSL CUP GOLD CUP & SILVER CUP Draw Details Draw Date: Tuesday, March 15 @ 11 PM ET We're days away from another season, which means it's time for another Cup draw! The TSL Cup will follow the same format as last season, with the 36 teams from TSL divided up into 9 groups of 4 teams each. Teams finishing first and second in their group will advance to the Gold Cup, while 3rd and 4th-placed teams will drop down into the Silver Cup. The complete draw details: Schedule The first group match games will open the same week as the start of the TSL season. Each knockout stage round will remain open for one week. The dates for the schedule will be as follows: 3/16 - 3/23: League Match Week 1 will have Group Matchday 1 3/23 - 3/30: League Match Week 2 will have Group Matchday 2 3/30 - 4/6: League Match Week 3 will have Group Matchday 3 4/6 - 4/13: League Match Week 4 will be a buffer week for unplayed group stage games 4/13 - 4/20: Preliminary Round & Round of 16 will be during League Match Week 5 4/20 - 4/27: Quarterfinals during League Match Week 6 4/27 - 5/4: Semifinals during League Match Week 7 5/4 - 5/11: Gold Cup & Silver Cup Final during League Match Week 8 With an 8-week schedule this season, games during the earlier stages of the knockout round will no longer be open for a week and a half. Groups With 36 teams, there will be 9 groups (A-I) of 4 teams each. All groups will still contain at least 1 representative from each League (A/B/C) level. Pots There will be 4 pots. The pots are seeded by defending Gold Cup title holder first, League level second, and previous season's results third, with any newcomers being placed into the last pot. Each pot will contain 9 teams (1 for each group). Here are the pots: Pot 1: guayo10 (Boca Juniors), CxMacx10 (Shakhtar Donetsk), wSeals9 (Atletico Mineiro), Zikry (PSV Eindhoven), KnightNoles (Stade de Reims), HokieNYC (West Brom), rschwep (Watford), Broncos218 (Galatasaray), ASinghal31 (KAA Gent) Pot 2: Lou (Sassuolo), Scott Metcalf (Leicester City), Macri (Sampdoria), vipermansa (Olympiakos CFP), BigBeansMcGee (1899 Hoffenheim), John O'Connor (Celta Vigo), abolishthefed (West Ham), hokie79 (Lille OSC), JFace907 (OGC Nice) Pot 3: UcanHateMeNow (Club America), dave okeeffe (LA Galaxy), redwings8831 (Bournemouth), Cimmy24 (VfB Stuttgart), IJGator (1. FSV Mainz 05), RedAL925 (Torino), Frenchie1916 (Crystal Palace), KJLamb23 (Ajax), shootah66 (Atalanta) Pot 4: Calhockey10 (Columbus Crew SC), PhiGuy179 (Santos FC), Andanas (Malaga CF), pitt4life21 (Stade Rennais), Llad72 (Vitoria Guimaraes), MoonBBad (Hertha Berlin), imax0494 (Palmeiras), Kasper (Toulouse FC), treshijoskjl (Udinese) Group Stage Draw Sequence With the real World Cup draw, they draw a team and a slot (1-4) within the group. Since the schedule is already set for each slot within each group, and I don't want to prolong the draw with also drawing group slots when I draw each team, a quick random draw of the slot order will be done for each group beforehand. This is done so that certain pots aren't guaranteed 2 home games and further randomizes the playing order within the group. So for example, I'll randomize Group A and it may turn out that slot 1 goes to the 3rd team drawn, slot 2 to the 1st team drawn, etc. Just check out the previous Cup's draw if this sounds confusing. Primarily, it's just to randomize the matches. After that, the teams will be drawn in a live format, with me posting the results here in this thread at the previously announced draw date & time. First, the Pot 1 teams will be drawn group-by-group from Group A to Group I. Afterwards, Pot 2 will also be drawn group-by-group. Once the first 2 pots have been drawn, we'll have 3 groups with 2 League A representatives. To ensure these groups have a club from League B, we will first draw 3 of the League B teams from Pot 3 into these groups. After that, the remainder of Pot 3 will be drawn into the other groups, again going from A to I. Lastly, Pot 4 teams will be drawn group-by-group. Knockout Stage Draw Sequence Once again, we'll have a draw following the group stage to determine matches in the knockout rounds. There will be only one draw (as opposed to a draw before each round), and it will be at the beginning of the knockout stage. Since both the Gold Cup and Silver Cup brackets will consist of 18 teams, there will be 2 preliminary matches in each tournament leading into a Round of 16. So to make this work, here's how the bracket will be structured: - 8 of the 9 group winners will be randomly drawn to host a Round of 16 match. - The 1 remaining group winner and 5 randomly drawn runner-ups will be placed directly into the Round of 16, and will face a group winner. - The 4 remaining runner-ups will be placed into a Preliminary Round, with the winners of those matches advancing to the Round of 16 (to face a group winner). - The Silver Cup will follow the same winner/runner-up structure, but with 3rd and 4th-placed teams instead. - Teams from the same group cannot be drawn to play against each other in the Round of 16. For any questions, post over in the Cups Discussion thread.