US Open Cup Preview: Philadelphia Union v FC Dallas


Aug 9, 2014; Chester, PA, USA; Montreal Impact defender Maxim Tissot (51) scores on Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath (18) during the second half of the match at at PPL Park. The Philadelphia Union won the match 2-1. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 US Open Cup Semifinals take place this week with the Philadelphia Union traveling down to FC Dallas for a Tuesday night game. In the other game, Seattle Sounders play host to the Chicago Fire. Philadelphia looks to continue their unbeaten streak in all competitions after winning 2-1 over the Montreal Impact on Saturday. Interim manager Jim Curtin has turned around a Union squad that couldn’t find a win. Lately, it seems like they continue to find points even if the play isn’t beautiful looking. In the end, three points is three points no matter if the game is pretty or ugly. In fact, the only loss under Curtin’s leadership at home was against FC Dallas and the Union have yet to beat FC Dallas in their five years of existence.

On Saturday, Philadelphia elected to not rest their normal starters with the non-injury exception being Amobi Okugo. With three games in seven days, this may come back to bite the Union, but the squad is filled at depth specifically at the midfield and defensive positions. In addition to Okugo not playing Saturday, midfielder Michael Lahoud was not featured and could see time Tuesday.

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There are few injured Union players to keep your eye on. Sebastien Le Toux received a knock to the leg during stoppage time Saturday. Post-game he mentioned he was sore, but no other details were mentioned. Le Toux has been the Union’s main threat in US Open Cup and MLS action recently, so it would affect the squad big time if he couldn’t play Tuesday. Cristian Maidana’s absence from the Union has been noticeable. He is the team’s true playmaker and would make an instant impact if he was healthy enough to play Tuesday.

On the other hand, Dallas rested most of their starters ahead of the US Open Cup clash. Likewise, they also are hosting the match, so they avoided having to travel two days after playing a game. For both teams, they are one game from playing for a trophy. In addition, both teams are fighting for a playoff spot in league play, so a win Tuesday provides motivation moving forward.

Mark Geiger will be referring Tuesday’s match. He has arguably been the league’s most consistent referee this season and made history referring during the 2014 World Cup. The winner of this match will host the Seattle/Chicago winner in the Final.

The game is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday and will be streamed on FC Dallas’ website.

Let us know what you think? Who wins Tuesday night? Do the Union find their first win against FC Dallas or does Dallas continue their run?