Philadelphia Union Advances to U.S. Open Cup Final with 4-3 Shootout Victory Against FC Dallas
Union to Host Championship at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at PPL Park; Chicago Fire Faces Seattle Sounders FC on Aug. 13 in ussoccer.com’s Semifinal ‘Game of the Round’
CHICAGO (Aug. 12, 2014) – Goalkeeper Zac MacMath came up with two saves in a penalty kick shootout to lead the Philadelphia Union to a 4-3 shootout victory against FC Dallas in the semifinals of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
The Union will now host the U.S. Open Cup Final at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The match will be broadcast live on GolTV. This marks the Union’s first appearance in a U.S. Open Cup Final.
Ticket information for the U.S. Open Cup Final will be announced at a later date.
The Union awaits the tournament’s other semifinal winner as Seattle Sounders FC hosts the Chicago Fire in ussoccer.com’s “Game of the Round” on Wednesday, Aug. 13. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington. The match features two of the winningest MLS teams in the tournament’s history. The Fire has won the U.S. Open Cup on four occasions (1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006), and Seattle Sounders FC earned three straight U.S. Open Cup titles from 2009-2011.
Following 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime during Tuesday’s semifinal, MacMath came up big for the Union in the shootout with saves against FC Dallas’ Blas Perez and Victor Ulloa to end the match. Philadelphia’s Sheanon Williams, Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana and Maurice Edu each converted their attempts.
The two sides played to a 1-1 score through 90 minutes. An injury-riddled FC Dallas side had to use all three of its substitutions by the start of the second half. After a goalless 45 minutes, the Union were in the driver’s seat shortly after the halftime break.
Amobi Okugo scored from above the six-yard box off of a Sebastien Le Toux assist in the 47th minute to take a 1-0 lead. It was Okugo’s first goal in Open Cup play.
FC Dallas flirted with several opportunities against aggressive Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath, who came off of his line for several stops. In the 81st minute, MacMath was caught too far out.
Perez played a deep ball over the top, aiming for a darting Fabian Castillo. MacMath attempted to beat him to the ball about 24 yards away from the goal. Castillo won the foot race, taking a touch with his right to get past MacMath and then shooting with his left to tie the score at 1-1 and send the match into overtime. It marked Castillo’s fourth goal in this year’s U.S. Open Cup.
The Union earned the right to host the championship match of the 101st edition of the tournament following a coin flip conducted by U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati that took place during the Men In Blazers program at MLS All-Star Week.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Club Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 100 consecutive years dating back to 1914. This year’s winner will earn $250,000, a berth in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions’ League and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will take home $60,000. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.