100th US Open Cup features more teams, more prize money, no buying of hosting rights

The quest to erase that memory starts May 28th - Ed Zurga

US Soccer today announced changes to the US Open Cup for 2013.

The biggest takeaways from the announcement by the United States Soccer Federation is that for the 100th US Open Cup they are making things bigger. There are more teams competing since the modern era started ('95 to present). There is more prize money. There is more randomness to hosting as all hosts will be determined by coin flip.

The schedule starts with a Play-in Round on March 7th. Sounders U23s will enter play on May 14th with the remaining amateur sides (PDL, NPSL, USASA and US Club Soccer and a first time entrant from the United States Specialty Sports Association). Four USL PRO teams will also compete in that round. The Secound Round will see the entry of the remaining 14 pro sides in the US (NASL and USL PRO).

Seattle Sounders FC will enter the third round on May 28th with the rest of MLS. Again, the host site for all rounds will be determined by coin flip. Teams will not be allowed to buy or sell hosting rights. The Fourth Round and the Quarterfinals are 14 days later. USOC100 takes a break for the Gold Cup and then resumes play on Aug. 7 or 21 with the Semifinals and the Final is October 1 or 2.

Prize money dramatically increases as well.

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).

With today's announcement Seattle's schedule for First Team action is one step closer to completion.

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