May 7 marks the first match of the 2013 US Open Cup, which runs through the first week in October. In it's 100th year, the Open Cup is the oldest soccer tournament in the United States. D.C. United has a long history of success in the tournament, winning the title in 1996 and 2008 and placing second in 1997 and 2009.
In 2013, the Black-and-Red join 15 other MLS teams, six teams from the second-tier North American Soccer League (NASL), 12 teams from the third-division USL PRO, and another 34 amateur teams from USL Premier Development Leauge (PDL), National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), and other amateur organizations, including the US Adult Soccer Association, US Club Soccer and the US Specialty Sports Association to make up the 68-team field.
This year, teams who make the top three spots will earn larger prizes than in years past. Last year's victors earned $100,000, but in 2013 the Open Cup champions will bring home a quarter of a million dollars. This really ups the ante for all teams competing in the five-month long single-elimination contest.
Initial schedule dates are set, although D.C. United and the 15 other MLS sides will not begin competing in the tournament until the end of may.
Play-In Round - Date: May 7 - Number of Games: 2 – Teams: Georgia Revolution (NPSL) at Colorado Rovers (USSSA); FC Hasental (NPSL) at Fresno Fuego Future (US Club Soccer)
First Round - Date: May 14 - Number of Games: 18 – Teams: Play-In Round winners plus USASA, NPSL, PDL entries and 4 USL Pro teams (Dayton Dutch Lions, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Phoenix FC Wolves and VSI Tampa Bay FC).
Second Round – Date: May 21 - Number of Games: 16 – Teams: First Round winners join remaining 8 USL Pro and 6 NASL teams.
Third Round - Date: May 28 - Number of Games: 16 – Teams: 16 Second Round winners are paired against 16 MLS sides.
Fourth Round – Date: June 12
Quarterfinals – Date: June 26
Semifinals – Date: Aug. 7 or 21
Final – Date: Oct. 1 or 2