Washington D.C. (August 8, 2013) – D.C. United today announced that the club will face Real Salt Lake in the final of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – the domestic tournament’s 100th edition. The match will take place at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT on Oct. 1, and the winner will receive $250,000 in prize money as well as an automatic berth into the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League. The Black-and-Red advanced to the final round – its first appearance in this stage of the competition since 2009 – by defeating the Chicago Fire last night by a score of 2-0 with goals from Dwayne De Rosario and Nick DeLeon. Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, eliminated the Portland Timbers from Open Cup contention by capturing a 2-1 win last night.
Before defeating the Fire, United dispatched three other opponents to ultimately reach the championship match. In the third round, the Black-and-Red defeated USL PRO affiliate the Richmond Kickers 4-2 on PKs after both teams went scoreless through 120 minutes. Next up was the Philadelphia Union in the fourth round where United advanced by a score of 3-1. Captain Dwayne De Rosario notched a hat trick to lead the squad to victory and was named “Player of the Round” as a result. In the quarterfinals, the Black-and-Red beat the New England Revolution, again by a score of 3-1, with goals from De Rosario, Lionard Pajoy and Chris Pontius.
This championship draw marks the second time United will take on Real Salt Lake in Open Cup play. In 2010, the Black-and-Red downed Real Salt Lake 2-1, with the game-winning goal from Andy Najar in the 107th minute to send United to the round of 16. The last time these two teams faced off against each other across all competitions, United won its 2013 home opener on March 9, a 1-0 victory.
D.C. United has won the U.S. Open Cup twice in its 18-year history. In 1996, D.C. United pulled off the first ‘double’ in League history, winning both MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup. The Black-and-Red beat the second division Rochester Raging Rhinos 3-0 in the 1996 Open Cup final, on the strength of goals from Eddie Pope, Jaime Moreno and Raul Diaz Arce. In 2008, United captured its second Open Cup title when it beat the second division Charleston Battery 2-1, with goals from Fred and Luciano Emilio.
The 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup includes a random selection process for determining home teams from the first round through the finals among clubs that have applied to host. The process, decided by a coin flip, gives participating teams with venues meeting tournament standards an equal chance at hosting its possible opponent. In years past, the two semifinal matches and the final were determined through a ‘sealed-bid’ process.
The 2013 tournament featured 68 teams, an increase from the 64 that competed last year, marking the largest field in the modern era (1995-present). This year also marks the second-consecutive year in which 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. All Division II clubs and eight of the Division III sides entered the competition in the second round while Division I teams received a bye to the third round.