D.C. United today announced that the club will face the Chicago Fire in the semifinals of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The match will take place at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Black-and-Red advanced to the semifinal round – its first appearance in this stage of the competition since 2010 – by defeating the New England Revolution tonight by a score of 3-1. Chicago, meanwhile, eliminated Orlando City SC (USL PRO) from Open Cup contention by capturing a 5-1 win tonight.
This impending game marks the third occasion in which the Black-and-Red will face Chicago in Open Cup competition. In the 2006 semifinal round, D.C. United was ousted from the tournament while playing away at Chicago, dropping the match 3-0. In 2008, United played the Fire in the quarterfinal round, advancing by a score of 2-1. United would then go on to win the 2008 Open Cup.
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 features 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.