Phildelphia Union, Sporting KC to face off in US Open Cup final
The U.S. Open Cup final is set for Sept. 30 at PPL Park after the Philadelphia Union ousted the Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City defeated Real Salt Lake.
For the second straight year, the U.S. Open Cup will be lifted at PPL Park.
The Philadelphia Union will host the Open Cup final against Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 30, a year after the Union suffered a 3-1 extra-time loss to the Seattle Sounders in the title game.
The Union, who are still looking for their first major trophy since the franchise kicked off in 2010, advanced with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Wednesday at PPL Park. Sebastien Le Toux scored his 16th career Open Cup goal in the 74th minute, firing a low, 18-yard shot in off the post to send the Union to the final.
A trophy would take some of the pressure off the Union's Jim Curtin, whose 6-13-5 team sits ninth in the Eastern Conference in his first full season as coach.
"I'm very happy with the group," Curtin told reporters. "We talked about it after the Seattle game last year that we had to get back to the final, that there's unfinished business. As cliche as it sounds, it's amazing to get back. Every guy in there looked each other in the eye and knows what it actually means to not just talk about it but do it."
Kansas City, a two-time Open Cup champion, secured its spot in the final with a 3-1 victory against Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park. Olmes Garcia opened the scoring for RSL in the 24th minute before Soni Mustivar headed home a Benny Feilhaber set piece 11 minutes later.
It then was Feilhaber who scored the winner in the 80th minute, knocking in the rebound after Dom Dwyer's remarkable individual effort struck the post. Krisztian Nemeth added an 85th-minute insurance tally for Peter Vermes' side.
Sporting KC (10-4-7 in MLS play) will be pursuing its third trophy in four seasons, after winning the 2012 Open Cup and 2013 MLS Cup.
"It's fantastic to be in a final and have a chance to win another championship. That's what this club is all about," Vermes said. "We want to win trophies and every year at the beginning of the season we make a plan to try to do that. We've been in this place before and it's pleasing that we are able to get there, but it's a long way down the road and we'll need to be prepared when it comes."
Philadelphia and Kansas City last met in April at Sporting Park, when the home side scored a pair of stoppage-time goals to claim a 3-2 win over the Union.
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