U.S. Open Cup: Round of 16
Philadelphia Union 2
New York Red Bulls 1
June 29th, Talen Energy Stadium
Two was an important number Wednesday evening. Chris Pontius scored two goals. Ilsinho earned two assists. Two coaches were ejected. Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch threw two soccer balls during a childish temper tantrum.
Most importantly, there were two halves.
Thank God, soccer has two halves.
The first 45 minutes of play featured an uncharacteristic Union team that managed just 1 shot. Plagued by turnovers, poor decisions, and slow play, the Union struggled to sustain any play in the attacking third.
Rival New York Red Bulls dominated play and took the lead on a Mike Grella goal in the 17th minute. Fortunately for Philadelphia, Andre Blake was doing Andre Blake things again. Blake came up huge on a few saves and limited the Red Bulls first half damage to just that 1 goal.
While the first half was certainly a forgettable one, the second half was just the opposite. I’m not sure who stepped up at halftime or what was said in the locker room, but I know one thing for sure: It worked.
The Philadelphia Union came out firing in the second half, looking much more like the team we’ve become accustomed to this season. Chris Pontius netted 2 goals, both on well played balls from Ilsinho, in the 55th and 60th minutes.
The Union controlled from there and held on to secure the win, eliminating the Red Bulls from the Open Cup for the second straight season.
The Union move on to the quarterfinals of the Open Cup for the 4th time in the last 5 years. They will face the New England Revolution on July 20th in Cambridge, MA.
- The Union played most of their starters, including Andre Blake in net. The team came out in our usual 4-2-3-1 formation but Sebastien Le Toux was in at the lone forward spot.
- Tranquillo Barnetta was captain for the match, a role I think he fits perfectly.
- CJ Sapong was listed as questionable and did not dress
- Fabian Herbers was listed as day-to-day and did not dress
- Cole Missimo made his first appearance on the 18 man roster, but did not play
- Philadelphia Union Assistant Coach Mike Sorber was ejected for apparently kicking a ball on to the pitch to try and kill time.
- New York Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch was ejected after arguing a call late in the game. Marsch then picked up 2 soccer balls and spiked them in the direction of Jim Curtin and the Union bench as he left the pitch, certainly worthy of a suspension.
- The Union return to MLS play this Saturday, July 2nd, against the Houston Dynamo.