The 102nd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final between the Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City is set for Wednesday, Sept. 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Check out notes and broadcast information for the match below; catch the 2015 Final live on ESPN2, WatchESPN and Univision Deportes Network and follow behind the scenes via the competition’s official Twitter account @OpenCup.
Philadelphia Union (MLS) vs. Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
Time/Location: 7 p.m. ET; PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
Philadelphia Union Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 3 (2014; Finalist)
Philadelphia Union Overall Record: 9-3-3
Sporting Kansas City Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 16 (2004, 2012; Champions)
Sporting Kansas City Overall Record: 21-11-4
Broadcast: ESPN2/WatchESPN, Univision Deportes Network
Referees: Ted Unkel (R), Ian Anderson (AR1), James Conlee (AR2), Chris Penso (4th)
- How They Got Here: The Philadelphia Union has overcome more than any team in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The side survived an early scare in the Fourth Round on June 16, playing to a 0-0 draw with USL table toppers Rochester Rhinos before goalkeeper John McCarthy made three saves in the penalty shootout to see the Union through 3-1... In the Round of 16 against D.C. United on June 30, forward C.J. Sapong was sent off in the 24th minute before Jairo Arrieta put D.C. up 1-0 minutes later. The 10-man Union side responded with second half goals from Eric Ayuk and Fabinho to dispatch United 2-1 at PPL Park… Welcoming the New York Red Bulls in Quarterfinal play, the Union would play down a man again when Conor Casey was shown a red card in the 40th minute. Despite the disadvantage, Ayuk gave the Union a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute, only to be surrendered when Red Bulls’ Lloyd Sam found the back of the net in the 94th minute. For the second time in the Union’s Open Cup run, they went to the shootout, where McCarthy’s penalty save on Sam proved crucial as Philadelphia won the shootout 4-3….No one was sent off in the August 12 Semifinal against the Chicago Fire, but the Union squandered chance after chance before Sebastien Le Toux finally broke through from the edge of the area in the 72nd minute, pushing Philadelphia to their second straight U.S. Open Cup Final.
- How They Got Here: Like the Union, Sporting KC has overcome some recent obstacles to arrive in the club’s second U.S. Open Cup Final in four years. Sporting fully dominated its Fourth Round contest with Saint Louis FC, but Graham Zusi’s 70th minute strike was all that was needed in the 1-0 win at Sporting Park on June 16… Two weeks later, Sporting laid down another completely dominant performance, using a single-game club record four goals from Dom Dwyer and a brace from Krisztian Nemeth to upend FC Dallas 6-2 on July 1 at Sporting Park… Things got more difficult for Sporting against the Houston Dynamo in the Quarterfinals as Will Bruin’s 59th minute strike put the visitors ahead 1-0. Playing a man up after Luis Garrido’s 30th minute red card reduced the Dynamo to 10 men, Sporting KC responded with three goals as Benny Feilhaber, Dwyer and Nemeth all tallied to give Sporting a 3-1 victory… In the Seminfinal on August 12, Sporting KC again surrendered the first goal as Real Salt Lake’s Olmes Garcia found the back of the net in the 24th minute. Soni Mustivar equalized for Sporting before halftime before second half goals from Feilhaber and Nemeth booked their ticket to the 2015 U.S. Open Cup Final.
- The two sides met once this year in league play with Sporting KC getting second half stoppage time goals from Jalil Anibaba and Krisztian Nemeth to defeat Philadelphia 3-2 on April 5 at Sporting Park.
- The teams have met once before in the U.S. Open Cup in the 2012 Semifinal when Jacob Peterson and Graham Zusi scored second half goals to give Sporting KC a 2-0 win at PPL Park.
- Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup twice as a player with the Chicago Fire in 2003 and 2006. His assistant Mike Sorber also won as a midfielder with the Fire in 2000.
- Sporting KC assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with the Kansas City Wizards, who defeated Curtin and the Chicago Fire 1-0 in extra time in the 2004 Final. Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes managed the club to the 2012 U.S. Open Cup title.
- Six current Sporting KC players appeared in the team’s 2012 U.S. Open Cup Final win over Seattle Sounders FC: Chance Myers, Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza and Paulo Nagamura.
- Philadelphia Union forward C.J. Sapong (then playing for SKC) also came on as a substitute for Sporting KC in the 2012 Final.
- Nine current Philadelphia Union players appeared in the 2014 U.S. Open Cup Final defeat to Sounders FC. The goal scorer Maurice Edu is joined by Ethan White, Raymon Gaddis, Andrew Wenger, Cristian Maidana, Sebastien Le Toux, Vincent Nogueira, Conor Casey and Fred.
- Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer leads the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Golden Boot race with five goals. Two goals from Dwyer in the final would make him the first player to score seven goals in one tournament during the modern era.
- Sebastien Le Toux’s Semifinal winner for Philadelphia extended his modern era U.S. Open Cup goal scoring record to 15.
- Sporting KC’s Krisztian Nemeth has scored in each of the team’s past three U.S. Open Cup matches. A goal in the final would make him just the fourth player in the modern era to tally in four straight games during the tournament. The others: Diego Serna (2000 Miami Fusion), Herculez Gomez (2005 LA Galaxy), Kenny Cooper (2014 Seattle Sounders FC).
- Both clubs had to come back from deficits to settle for 1-1 draws in MLS play over the weekend. In New England, the Revolution’s Lee Nguyen tallied a 35th minute penalty kick before Union forward Fernando Aristeguieta equalized in the 65th minute. In Kansas City, Obafemi Martins put Seattle Sounders FC up 1-0 with a great individual effort in the 32nd minute before Dom Dwyer bagged his 11th goal of the MLS season to equalize in the 79th minute.
- With the weekend results, the Union sit ninth (9-15-7; 34 points) in the MLS Eastern Conference, while Sporting KC are fifth in the MLS Western Conference (12-9-9; 45 points).
- LEADING SCORERS: Philadelphia Union – C.J. Sapong – 9 goals (MLS), Eric Ayuk – 2 goals (USOC); Sporting KC – Dom Dwyer – 11 goals (MLS), Dom Dwyer – 5 goals (USOC).
U.S. Open Cup Final History and Notes
- The winner of the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will be awarded $250,000 and a place in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League. The runner-up will receive $60,000.
- All-time, 17 U.S. Open Cup Finals have gone to extra time. Seven Finals in the tournament’s modern era (1995-present) have seen extra time, with both 2015 finalists having played in one of those matches. The Union fell to Seattle Sounders FC 3-1 last year, while Sporting KC went scoreless through the extra frames before defeating Sounders FC 3-2 on penalties at Sporting Park in 2012.
- Four U.S. Open Cup Finals have been decided by penalty kicks with the last coming in 2012.
- When the Final has not been played at a neutral site in the modern era (1995-present), home teams have come away victorious 12 out of 18 times.
- The last two U.S. Open Cup Finals have been won by the visiting team. D.C. United surprised Real Salt Lake 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium in 2013, while Sounders FC downed the Philadelphia Union 3-1 after extra time at PPL Park in 2014.
- Clubs from Pennsylvania have won the U.S. Open Cup 14 times: Bethlehem Steel jointly holds the tournament record of five with Maccabi Los Angeles, winning in 1915, 1916, 1918, 1919 and 1926. The Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals also won four titles (1960, 1961, 1963, 1966). Other Pennsylvania clubs that have won include Uhrik Truckers of Philadelphia (1936), Pittsburgh Gallatin (1942), Pittsburgh Morgan-Strasser (1949) and Harmarville Hurricanes (1952, 1956).
- Ten different clubs have won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in the tournament’s modern era: Chicago Fire and Seattle Sounders FC (4), D.C. United (3), Sporting KC and LA Galaxy (2), Richmond Kickers, FC Dallas, Rochester Rhinos, Columbus Crew SC, New England Revolution.