preview: d.c. united vs chicago fire - open cup semifinals

Preview: D.C. United at the Chicago Fire

D.C. United will take on the Chicago Fire in the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals tonight at Toyota Park (8:30 p.m. ET; The Fire overcame the Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO), Columbus Crew and Orlando City SC (USL PRO), while United surpassed the Richmond Kickers (USL PRO), the Philadelphia Union and New England to get to tonight’s match.

Chicago and D.C. are two of the most storied cities when it comes to the Open Cup, dating back to before MLS. While the Fire leads MLS with the most Open Cup championships (4), D.C. United has two Open Cup trophies of its own.

The last time DCU met the Fire, Chicago emerged the victors after netting 4 goals to United’s 1. But, the Black-and-Red is coming off an impressive win last Saturday night over a hot Montreal Impact team. United’s new leading scorer, Luis Silva, found his third goal of the season in as many games to put DCU up 1-0 over the Impact. After an equalizer from Jeb Brovsky, Conor Doyle netted his first League goal off a cross from James Riley. Doyle’s goal proved to be the game-winner, but he later assisted, along with Collin Martin, Jared Jeffrey’s goal in extra time.

REALTED: Spotlight: Conor Doyle and Jared Jeffrey 

“We were looking to get two things out of tonight,” said Head Coach Ben Olsen after Saturday’s match. “First was getting a winning mentality, so this [win] will help with that. We’re also looking to get a rhythm… We were aggressive – the way our outside backs went about the game, to me, was probably the difference in the way we played.”

Chicago is also coming off a win, though, beating Philadelphia 2-1. Patrick Nyarko netted the first in the 9th minute, with an assist from Joel Lindpere. Then, Nyarko assisted the game-winning-goal, scored by the Fire’s leading scorer Mike Magee.

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When D.C. United last visited the Fire, Lindpere had a goal and an assist, Chris Rolfe netted two and Mike Magee put away a penalty kick.

“Revenge might not be the right word,” said goalkeeper Joe Willis, “but we’re looking to make up for what happened last time.”

With three more point to their name as a result of a great showing, DCU can enter Toyota Park with confidence and optimism.

“We look at the Open Cup as a chance to get some W’s and to get some happiness back into our lives,” said Willis. “Our team has played unbelievably well in the Open Cup. We’re taking it very seriously. I think that’s shown. That’s why we’re in the Semis.”