The 2013 US Open Cup, which will also be the tournament’s 100th edition, will have the events largest field ever with 68 clubs participating.
The US Soccer Federation announced the details for the 2013 event Tuesday, which included details on how the hosting cites would be announced and news about the tournament’s prize money.
The big detail for MLS fans is that all games, including the semifinals and finals will have the host determined by a coin flip. That means gone are the days of a bid process that favors teams like Seattle, Kansas City and Chicago. Instead, even the little guys will be able to potentially host some big games in this tournament.
The amount of prize money distributed will also see a substantial increase, with the overall champion earning a total of $250,000 (up from $100,000 in recent years). The tournament runner-up will receive $60,000 (up from $50,000) and the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will win $15,000 (up from $10,000).
The tournament will kick off in early May with the first rounds of games starting and finish with the final on October 1 or 2.
Tournament Format and Match Dates:
Date: April 28
Number of Games: 2
Date: May 7
One NPSL team will take on the US Club Soccer representative, while a second NPSL team faces the USSSA representative.
Number of Games: 18
Date: May 14
Two winners from Play-In Round join remaining 30 Adult Council category teams and four USL PRO teams (Dayton Dutch Lions, Pittsburgh Riverhounds and expansion sides Phoenix FC Wolves and VSI Tampa Bay FC).
Number of Games: 16
Date: May 21
Eighteen (18) winners from First Round join remaining eight USL PRO clubs and six NASL teams.
Number of Games: 16
Date: May 28
Sixteen (16) winners from Second Round are paired against 16 MLS sides.
Number of Games: 8
Date: June 12
Sixteen (16) winners from Third Round face each other.
Date: June 26
Fourth Round winners face each other.
Date: Aug. 7 or 21
Quarterfinal winners face each other.
Date: Oct. 1 or 2
Participating Professional Teams (34 total )
Major League Soccer (Division I – 16 teams): Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City.
North American Soccer League (Division II – 6 teams): Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Minnesota Stars FC, San Antonio Scorpions, Tampa Bay Rowdies.
USL PRO (Division III – 12 teams): Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, Orlando City, Phoenix FC Wolves, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, VSI Tampa Bay FC, Wilmington Hammerheads.
Distribution of Amateur-Level Places (34 total):
U.S. Adult Soccer Association Regional Qualifiers - 8 places: Four USASA regional qualifiers advanced to the second round in 2012, including Cinderella story Cal FC, who reached the fourth round.
United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League - 16 places: The PDL will have the largest representation among amateur leagues. In 2012 the Michigan Bucks were the lone PDL team to reach the fourth round.
National Premier Soccer League – 8 places: The NPSL is a national amateur league affiliated with the USASA. Prior to last year, its teams participated via USASA regional qualifying.
US Club Soccer – 1 place: US Club Soccer is an organization member of U.S. Soccer. It was first represented in last year’s tournament.
U.S. Specialty Sports Association – 1 place: The USSSA is an organization member of U.S. Soccer. Its clubs will be participating for the first time in this year’s tournament.