The 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will be the biggest yet.
On Tuesday, U.S. Soccer announced that the 2013 U.S. Open Cup will include 68 team - the most in the modern era of the tournamant.
For the second-consecutive year all U.S. based Division I, II and III teams will participate in the tournament proper: 16 from Major League Soccer, six from the North American Soccer League and 12 from USL PRO.
The remaining 34 spots in the tournament field will be filled by amateur teams from the Adult Council category: 16 from the Premier Development League, eight from U.S. Adult Soccer Association regional qualifying, eight from the National Premier Soccer League, one from US Club Soccer and one from the United States Specialty Sports Association.
The Colorado Rapids and the other 15 U.S.-based MLS teams enter the tournament in the Third Round on May 28. Last year the Rapids enter the U.S. Open Cup proper for the first time since 2007, defeating the Tampa Bay Rowdies before losing to eventual winners, Sporting KC, in round of 16. The Rapids reached the final of the 1999 U.S. Open Cup only to lose to the Rochester Rhinos.
In 2013, home teams throughout the entire tournament will be determined by random selection, while the sites of the semifinals and finals will be determined by a coin flip rather than the previously used sealed-bid process. Colorado has played 26 of 30 all-time Open Cup and Open Cup play-in games on the road.
This year's tournament will begin with the Play-In Round to be completed by May 7 and will culminate with the tournament final on Oct. 1 or 2.
The U.S. Open Cup is an annual knockout tournament open to U.S. Soccer Federation affiliated teams at all levels and is played concurrently with the MLS regular season. The winner of America’s oldest national soccer tournament gets an automatic entry in the CONCACAF Champions League. Sporting KC won the 2012 U.S. Open Cup by defeating three-time defending champions Seattle Sounders last fall on penalty kicks after tying 1-1 through overtime.
2013 Tournament Format and Match Dates:
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