Preview: D.C. United vs Philadelphia Union
2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
D.C. United vs Philadelphia Union
Tuesday, June 5 - 7:30 PM ET
$20 at the Maryland SoccerPlex - CASH ONLY
If D.C. United’s last Open Cup showdown with the PhiladelphiaUnion is any indication of what can be expected from Tuesday night’s fourthround clash between the regional foes, those in attendance can expect a matchfilled with goals, plot twists, and perhaps, the most dramatic tiebreaker inall of sports.
It was just over 14 months ago that the Black-and-Red topped their Interstate 95 rivals on penalty kicks after a back and forth affair. United fell behind early, but ralliedto tie the match in regulation. Both teams scored in extra time, with former D.C. midfielder BrianCarroll punishing his old side by netting a 118th minute equalizerto force penalties. The evening was unforgettable, especially for those on the losing side.
“We had a tough game last year,” said Union assistant JohnHackworth, who coached Philadelphia to the club’s 3-0 win over Rochester in thetournament’s third round. “We loston [penalties], we’ll definitely look to go back there and get a little revenge.”
Blessed with a two-week break in league play, Ben Olsen hasa rare luxury as he heads into his second Open Cup as a head coach. With his side’s health improving, Olsen– who has not been shy about his desire to succeed in America’s most fabledcompetition - is promising a ‘very good team’ for Tuesday night.
“It’s important to us,” Olsen acknowledged. “It’s a great tournament, there arefinancial implications for the guys, and we want to get back to holding trophies and this is an opportunity to do that.”
While a third Open Cup title may be just one way for Unitedto add an MLS-best 13th trophy to the club's coffers, the tournament may be Philadelphia’s only chance to earn its first piece of hardware. Early season struggles have seen the Union sink near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, and have forced the third-year franchise to put a renewed emphasis on thedomestic cup.
“I think you always want to win a trophy and this club doesn’thave one yet,” Hackworth added. “Againa cup is a cup and this one is important.”
Tuesday’s match is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at MarylandSoccerplex in Boyds, Maryland. Thecontest will not be broadcast live on local television.