The Philadelphia Union will visit the New England Revolution on Wednesday, July 20th at 7:30 PM to determine which side goes through to the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The match places the Union just two wins away from playing for the Open Cup for the third straight year. The boys in blue are coming off of a thrilling 2-2 draw on Sunday with the Red Bulls in league play in which they fought back from two goals down and held on despite going down a man to gain a hard-earned point. The Revs are coming back to the East Coast after gaining a point in a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake in Sandy, Utah on Saturday.
The two sides have met previously this year. The Union handed the Revs a 3-0 thrashing in Chester on March 20th in a result that could have been even worse if not for two saved penalties by Bobby Shuttleworth. The match also saw Rev defender Je-Vaughn Watson sent off in the 36th minute for a dangerous challenge in the midfield. CJ Sapong netted a brace in the first half for the Union, and Sebastien Le Toux added the third in stoppage time as Andre Blake recorded the shutout.
New to the Revs is Kei Kamara, the former Columbus Crew striker. The Union have never seen Kamara in a Revs uniform before, and along with Lee Nguyen, the Revs figure to be dangerous on crosses into the box and aerial pieces especially.
The match will be played at Jordan Field in Cambridge, MA instead of Gillette Stadium.
Manager Jim Curtin has shown a willingness to give typical reserves like Walter Restrepo and Leo Fernandes some time in matches like this. With the short turnaround of just a couple days, it will be interesting to see how many changes are made to Sunday’s lineup. There are some people who figure to be in there regardless though: the quality of Blake, Tranquillo Barnetta, Roland Alberg, CJ Sapong, and Keegan Rosenberry would be difficult to replace.
Prediction: The Union continue their Open Cup mastery as well as their streak of ending games in regulation, needing just ninety minutes to dispatch of the New England side. Union 2, Revs 1.