And if they do get to PKs, they might have the advantage being at home, having a guy like Sebastien Le Toux who’s basically automatic from the spot and, possibly, a goalkeeper in John McCarthy who’s made four PK saves through two shootouts this year (though, as everyone who follows this team knows, Andre Blake may get the call in net instead in what’s been the biggest pre-game storyline).
The bad news is, that Sporting Kansas had the same idea.
MATT BESLER vs. C.J. Painting the wall again at Sporting Park would set this club apart as a “small-market” team with a structure and system that can absorb setbacks and roster turnover and still contend for honors. It’s nearly rude to talk about league form. A huge 5-2 win over Leicester at the weekend and before that a Cup win over local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, but just hours ago the Gunners lost a match against Olympiakos in the UEFA Champions League…a match they really should have won. Curtin says the Cup is very important to the team and could be a launching pad for future success. For a detailed history on the city’s association with the trophy check out this article on Philly Soccer Page. “There was definitely a belief that the things we were doing as a club, from the rebrand to making more investment in the youth academy to having a certain philosophy around building our senior team-all of that cemented at least a belief in the fans in what we were trying to do”. They’re anxious to shed that record, and after a sometimes charmed run through this tournament it’s possible to believe that this just might be their year. This could be the flawless scenario for the Union. If Besler can contain Sapong, the Union’s attack could be in for a long night. Even against the tougher opponents, the Union seem to win possession battles. Despite a few injuries he has bounced back with a spike in the graph following a few eccentric performances. That’s not much on their minds either.
The 25 year old Golden Boot contender has eleven goals for SKC this season and will be keen to add more to that tally at PPL Park. Curtin said. “They’re going to fight, scratch and claw for everything”. But Ethan White could partner up with Marquez to make up for the speed that Vitoria lacks. He scored five goals that year and was named MLS Rookie of the Year for his contributions. This is why quicker defenders are more likely to start.
Sapong sees 2012’s lessons as only so applicable to the Union’s challenge Wednesday. Set pieces and goalkeeping errors accounted for all the goals.
Distracting the Defense-Forme this is probably the biggest key to the matchup. The Union do an excellent job of providing service for Sapong, who should get his share of looks.
There’s little risk of Sapong’s threat catching his former mates by surprise. As the home team, the Union need to step on the pedal early, show the same kind of confidence they’ve shown in this tournament the last two seasons, win the thing in 90, and then celebrate in front of their fans.
“Obviously it would be an accomplishment, but I guess from our perspective, we’re not thinking of it that way”, the Sporting KC manager said. It’s a competition I take very seriously from when I was a player in Chicago and have passed that on to the guys here in Philadelphia.
White and Marquez could link up at CB allowing Edu and Lahoud to play in defensive midfield roles.
Forget everything else. Forget the first seven months of the season marred by injuries, collapses and mistakes. The Dynamo took the lead in the second half, despite being down a man, but three goals in the final 20 minutes saw the hosts through. On the way, he played every minute of the team’s first three matches, before coming on as a stoppage time substitute in the club’s 3-1 win against the LA Galaxy. “I think our team is right there on the doorstep”. All signs point to PPL Park and if the boys in blue and gold can stop a full New England side when fielding their reserves? Now I’m just approaching it like it’s a cup final. The team have been here before, it’s their turf, and it’s their one shot at silverware.the players want this. The fans deserve this.
“It was my first trophy as a pro, so it is one of the most significant moments of my career at this point”, Sapong said of what the Open Cup trophy meant to him.