Tonight, United has a chance to add its twelfth major title to the trophy case that sits outside the D.C. United offices when it takes on the Charleston Battery in the U.S. Open Cup final at RFK Stadium. The club has prided itself on a championship tradition from the very beginning and tonight provides an opportunity to further distance United as the winningest team in American soccer history.
Though the team has captured the Supporters' Shield in each of the last two seasons, tonight is the first time United will play for a cup championship since 2004's MLS Cup win over the Kansas City Wizards. It will be just the third time in club history that fans will have a chance to see United lift a trophy at home (the others being the '97 MLS Cup and the '98 CONCACAF Champions' Cup).
Charleston is likely a relative unknown to most United fans, though the two teams have played a number of pre-season exhibitions over the last several years and three former members of D.C. - Stephen Armstrong, Lazo Alavanja and John Wilson - are all now important parts of the Battery.
Here's what folks are writing in advance of tonight's contest:
- Steve Goff writes that the team is taking tonight's match very seriously, in the Washington Post.
- In the Washington Examiner, Craig Stouffer writes that the Open Cup is more important than ever before.
- Charlie Boehm writes the team is in search of its 12th trophy on dcunited.com.
- ussoccer.com has a ton of notes and nuggets about the 95th edition of the tournament.
- usopencup.com has a ridiculously impressive preview with notes, history and more.
- In Charleston, the Post & Courier interviews John Wilson about tonight's historic match.
- The Capital Weather Gang says (for what seems to be the third time all year) that tonight's weather should be great for soccer, with no rain in sight!
Did I miss anything?
We'll take predicitions in the comments section. Given that tonight's match is a special one, we'll award a special prize to the winner (winner is randomly picked from the folks who correctly guess the score). The score predicition winner from tonight's game will receive not only two tickets to an upcoming game, but also an autographed player card from their player of their choice.
If you don't make it to RFK for tonight's game, you are not a true supporter. I mean that. Don't take any chances and get out here for the big game.