For the third, fourth and fifth tiers of the pyramid, a series of qualification and state tournaments are held to determine the berths into the tournament. Most states began their qualification in October or November 2012 and will conclude in March 2013. These teams will complete the 64-team field in the U.S. Open Cup.
The Erie Admirals, 2012 Great Lakes Division regular season champions, were expected to join but declined citing a variety of reasons. AFC Cleveland as the division’s playoff champion was next in line but also declined. Rather than giving the Open Cup berth to the division’s third choice, Detroit City FC, they awarded the berth to the club that had the best overall record among the remaining teams league wide (excluding Western Conference), which was the Brooklyn Italians.
NPSL Western Conference Northern Division Qualifying Tournament
The USCS qualifying tournament consists of 2 groups with the top two finishers moving on to a single elimination bracket, with the winner qualifying for the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in round.