The Michigan Milk Cup returns for 2018 with a revised format and expanded field. The 2018 participants total eight clubs including teams from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), Premier Development League (PDL), United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) and Michigan Premier Soccer League (MiPSL).
The revised format for the Cup has teams divided into two separate pots of four to determine matchups via a random draw. Pot 1, comprised of clubs returning to the competition, will consist of AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC and Lansing United while Pot 2 holds four new clubs participating in the cup including Force FC, Livonia City FC, Muskegon Risers and Oakland County FC.
A drawing will be held later this week where teams from Pot 1 will be paired up with opponents from Pot 2 for a 2-leg home/home matchup. Winners will be determined based on aggregate score of those two matches, which teams will be scheduling between late April and the end of May.
The winning teams will advance to the semifinals. Semifinalists will enter a new drawing to determine host sites and matchups but will only play one match to determine the winner. These matches will take place in June with fixture dates to be determined.
The two teams advancing to the 2018 Michigan Milk Cup Final will meet at Hope Sports Complex’s Championship Field (Lansing, Michigan) on Wednesday, July 4th. Game time to be determined.
Returning as the naming rights sponsor, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan is thrilled to see the competition expanded and optimistic about continuing to educate soccer fans across the state about their local farmers and the benefits of milk.
““The United Dairy Industry of Michigan is invested in the health of athletes, and the Milk Cup is a great opportunity to promote the benefits dairy has on a healthy diet. Essential nutrients and protein make dairy products ideal, especially to those whose strength, speed, and endurance are important. The Milk Cup is a chance to spotlight the local dairy farmers, top tier athletes and to inspire healthy choices. We are beyond excited to be a part of this for the second year,” added Melissa Gerharter (MS, RD, CSSD) from UDIM.
The inaugural cup won by AFC Ann Arbor included a prize of $2,500, which has increased to a $5,000 prize for the 2018 champion.