U.S. Open Cup Final Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. Sporting Kansas City

The Philadelphia Union will once again take the field Wednesday during the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on their home turf. This time, they’ll take on Western Conference opponent Sporting Kansas City, a team currently sitting in a playoff spot.

After suffering a tragic defeat to the Seattle Sounders last year in the final, the Union definitely have something to prove this year.

“Winning a trophy does kind of solidify what your team’s about and gives a little bit more of an identity,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said.

Photo Credit: Graham Green – prostamerika.com

Philadelphia and Kansas City have met only once this season, resulting in 3-2 victory for Sporting in the early parts of the year. Overall, the teams have met 14 times with the Union winning four of those match-ups, losing six, and drawing four.

Going into the match, both teams will certainly be rested up and focused on the cup. In league competition, both teams played games over the weekend, fielding reserve players and earning unconvincing 1-1 draws.

Players to watch during this match are Philadelphia’s Sebastian Le Toux and Sporting Kansas City’s Benny Feilhaber.

Le Toux heads into this match with tons of Open Cup appearances under his belt. In the semi-finals of this year’s tournament, the Frenchman scored his record-setting 15th U.S. Open Cup goal in a 1-0 win against the Chicago Fire. If Philadelphia want to win a trophy, Le Toux must be a big piece to the winning puzzle.

For Kansas City, Benny Feilhaber has had a tremendous year, appearing in 28 league games scoring ten goals with 14 assists. In all competitions, Feilhaber set the single-season record for Kansas City this year grabbing 19 assists in all competitions. Feilhaber’s play-making abilities make him dangerous for Philadelphia.

The 102nd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship match will be played September 30th at 7pm ET at PPL Park in Chester, PA. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN2, WatchESPN, and Univision Deportes.

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