Thursday, August 13, 2015

Union-Sporting KC set for 2015 U.S. Open Cup Final

The 2015 U.S. Open Cup Final is set as the Philadelphia Union get set to host Sporting Kansas City at the end of September. Nobody should be surprised to see Sporting Kansas City in the Finals as Sporting leads the league in points per game (37 pts in 21 matches), and has the fewest losses of any MLS club with four. Add in star power in the likes of Benny Feilhaber, Graham Zusi, Dominic Dwyer and Matt Besler, and solid contributions from newcomers Soni Mustivar and Krisztián Németh, and you have a recipe for success. On the other side of the pitch, you have the Philadelphia Union. The Union lead MLS with 13 losses and have the fewest points per game in the league (23 points in 24 matches). Still, for the second year in a row, it's Philadelphia who find themselves in the U.S. Open Cup Final. It's been quite a run for the Union who have twice overcome red cards, and twice overcome shootouts, in their 4-game journey to the Championship. It was fitting too that the tournament's all-time leading scorer, Sébastien Le Toux, would be the one to send the Union through in their 1-0 win over Chicago. Still, the Union will head into the final as heavy underdogs. The two clubs met just once this season with the Union squandering a 2-1 lead in stoppage time and falling 3-2 on Németh's game winner in the 94th minute. That was still during the Raïs M'Bolhi era though which the Union have moved past. The Final is set for September 30th with a berth in next year's Champions League on the line. Here's a look at how each team made it to the Finals.

Philadelphia Union

D 0-0 vs Rochester Rhinos (USL), W 3-1 on PKs
W 2-1 vs DC United - Ayuk (1), Fabinho (1)
D 1-1 vs New York Red Bulls, W 4-3 on PKs - Ayuk (2)
W 1-0 vs Chicago Fire - Le Toux (1)

Sporting Kansas City

W 1-0 vs Saint Louis FC (USL) - Zusi (1)
W 6-2 vs FC Dallas - Dwyer 4 (4), Németh 2 (2)
W 3-1 vs Houston Dynamo - Feilhaber (1), Dwyer (5), Németh (3)
W 3-1 vs Real Salt Lake - Mustivar (1), Feilhaber (2), Németh (4)

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