From humble beginnings, the first tournament featured nine PASL-Premier clubs and seven PASL teams. St. Louis Illusion won the first U.S. Open Cup by winning just two games. After a bye into the quarterfinals, St. Louis defeated Premier club Kansas City Kings 5-3 to advance into the semifinals. An 8-3 victory over Detroit Waza Flo turned into their "final" as the other semifinal winner, Stockton Cougars could not field a team for the championship scheduled for April 18, 2009. St. Louis finished the PASL regular season at 8-8, failing to qualify for the league playoffs.
Tacoma Stars were the first amateur team to defeat a professional side as they topped Wenatchee Fire 10-9 and Denver Dynamite 11-2 to advance into the 2008-09 semifinals.
The second edition of the tourney featured upsets by two PASL-Premier clubs. In the Round of 16 Kansas City Kings eliminated defending champion St. Louis Illusion 8-4. Vitesse Dallas were history-makers by defeating two PASL professional teams to advance all the way to the tournament semifinals! Vitesse lost 11-7 to the eventual champion San Diego Sockers.
History was made as AAFC of the Indianapolis SportZone league became the first non-PASL affiliated team to defeat a professional side. AAFC advanced through the Indiana Qualifier, then stunned host Detroit Waza Flo (PASL) 7-6 in overtime of the Round of 16 match.
"It wasn’t a good effort tonight, there is no way around it," said Waza coach Dominic Scicluna after the game. "We didn’t have many of our top players tonight, but I’m not offering that as an excuse. They (AAFC) played well, and they wanted it more. There is no other way to say it."
Vitesse Dallas (PASL-Premier) won three tourney games to make it all the way into the semifinals for a second time. Eventual tourney runner-up Cincinnati Kings stopped the amateur side, winning 10-5.
Cincinnati Saints of PASL-Premier were the last of any amateur clubs to be eliminated, advancing to the tournament quarterfinals. The Saints advanced to the tournament proper by winning six games in the Indiana Qualifier Tourney before being knocked out by the Chicago Mustangs.