Goalkeeper Joe Willis has played a big role in D.C. United's run to the U.S. Open Cup final. So big, in fact, that Willis earned Player of the Round honors for his performance in United's 2-0 semifinal victory over the Chicago Fire.
Willis' six saves and late-game composure allowed the Black-and-Red to hand the Fire its first home defeat in Open Cup history. Goals on either side of halftime from Dwayne De Rosario and Nick DeLeon did the damage for D.C., who will be making its fifth appearance in an Open Cup final.
With the honor, Willis joins De Rosario as United's second Player of the Round in this year's competition. He's also the first goalkeeper to win the award since Richmond Kickers' Ronnie Pascale in 2011.
Now, for Willis and DCU, it all comes down to Oct. 1's final against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Squaring off against one of MLS's strongest sides, United will look to carry its good form into the final and win the team's third Open Cup.