The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Semifinals are finally here as the Chicago Fire visit Talen Energy Stadium to face the Philadelphia Union.
US Open Cup History:
This is The Union’s fourth trip to the Semis (’12 L, ’14 W, ’15 W) and their second time facing the Fire. That was the 2015 1-0 win for the Union.
The Fire have reached this round 13 times, and we all know that Union Head Coach Jim Curtin helped them to a Cup win in 2006 as a stout defender.
The U got here by beating another Eastern Conference rival, Orlando City SC 1-Nil. Chicago easily beat USL Louisville City FC 4-0.
Both teams rested and rotated players in losses this past Saturday, with an eye on winning this match.
No matter what this will be the last home match of the USOC for the Union.
“It’s a big opportunity for us at home,” Curtin said. “Again, we didn’t want to have any regrets going into that game. All of these semifinal-type games are usually one-play games and hopefully at home we can come out on top.”
What’s at stake:
If the Union win they will travel to meet the winner of LAFC at Houston Dynamo. If the Fire win they will host the winner of that match.
The Final will be on 9/26/18.
Philly Vs. Chicago:
The Union are 2-0-0 against Chicago this season, and pulled one out of the Fire, 4-3 in Chicago in their last meeting on 7/11/18.
Chicago is a regular M*A*S*H unit with 6 players on the definitely out list, and another star Rookie D Diego Campos is questionable with a knee injury. He had a goal and two assists in 11 games as a starter.
On the other hand, Philly is almost completely healthy. The only possible out is Ilsinho, still nursing a quad strain.
I will stick pretty much with how I rolled in my last preview. Curtin has aimed hard for this cup, especially as the regular season is so close to slipping away for this 2018 squad. They are at home, they are healthy, they are motivated for some hardware, they will win 2-0.
I will leave you once again with the Union’s latest Vibe Video #WeWantTheCup