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Preview: Philadelphia Union, FC Dallas Clash in US Open Cup Semifinals

 

US Open Cup

Photo: Paul Rudderow/Philly Soccer Page.

With all of the focus being set on Major League Soccer matches, it is time to shift a bit of focus to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup semifinals.  This past week, it was determined that either FC Dallas or Philadelphia Union would host the US Open Cup final.

Union fans have been struggling to get behind a team, which has been lacking the ability to challenge for any type of trophy in the past.  Now, they are one win away from potentially winning the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup and their first berth into the CONCACAF Champions League.

But the road to that trophy runs through Frisco, where Dallas wants a chance at that trophy also and will undoubtedly not make it easy for the Union to bring the final game home to PPL Park in Chester, PA.

This particular matchup will see the Union utilizing some strong players such as Sebastien LeToux, Vincent Nogueira, and hopefully Cristian Maidana who has missed a few league games due to an injury.  On the opposite side for Dallas, there will be players potentially available to Head Coach Oscar Pareja to include Michel, Blas Perez, and Fabian Castillo.

Both the Union and Dallas have a few players who have scored more than four goals this season in all competitions.  One of the biggest breakout players for the Union, since the takeover of Interim Head Coach Jim Curtin, has been LeToux who has been stronger under Curtin, not only in setting up goals for other players, but scoring himself and scored goals number nine and 10 against Montreal Impact.  Though LeToux may not play right away because of his full game shift on Saturday, he definitely has the ability to also be an impactful second half substitution for the Union.

The referee for this match, Mark Geiger, has seen much of these two teams and will potentially have his hands full with the players that are playing in the match.  One key addition to the Union’s roster this week was the readdition of former Team Captain and 2014 Colombia National Team member Carlos Valdes.  In his first match back for the Union, Valdes seemed to stabilize a shaky defensive line in front of goalkeeper Zac MacMath, as the Union went on to win 2-0 and make their way into the playoff hunt.

Even if the match itself is not of interest, the potential for interesting player matchups is definitely something to watch, as Curtin and Pareja look at the other team and attempt to put the best lineup out there to win and bring the Open Cup final to their stadium.

The match is scheduled to kick off at 9 pm EST and will be streamed on FC Dallas’ website.

Jasmine Stefanik is a soccer writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. Follow her on Twitter @pinkbutterflyy6 , and like her page on Facebook.

Related Links:

Landon Donovan: USMNT and LA Galaxy Star to Retire at End of MLS Season

The Philadelphia Union Win Behind LeToux’s Brace Against Montreal Impact

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