Sounders FC vs. Philadelphia Union
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final
Tuesday, September 16; 4:30 pm PT; PPL Park
TV: GolTV Audio: SoundersFC.com
CHESTER, Penn. – For the fifth time in the club’s six-year existence, Sounders FC will play for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in Chester, Penn. Seattle will utilize that experience and the weight that the club places on the annual tournament as it vies for its fourth Open Cup title and a return to CONCACAF Champions League.
“We’re just happy to be in the Open Cup final again. It’s a tournament that as a club we take very seriously. If you look at our past history, that reflects that,” Schmid said at a press conference at PPL Park on Monday. “We’re very excited and we’re happy to be playing against a team that’s playing really well right now in Philadelphia. It’s going to be a tough game. It’s going to be a competitive game, a fun one to watch, and a good game.”
Seattle won in many different ways to reach the final, beating the Portland Timbers in overtime, the San Jose Earthquakes in a shootout and PSA elite and the Chicago Fire in blowouts.
Now with a championship hanging in the balance, the approach remains the same despite a busy upcoming schedule. Sounders FC is in the lead in the chase for the Supporters’ Shield, toting a three-point edge over the LA Galaxy with a game in hand. Seattle has a busy upcoming schedule, with a stretch of five matches in 16 days.
With that in mind, Schmid plans to give the tournament, his team and his opposition the proper respect when fielding a lineup in Tuesday’s final.
“I think you look at each game a little bit differently in how you approach it with your team. Players like to play. They don’t like to train. They don’t want to be resting, necessarily. If somebody is carrying a knock or an injury or some reason they might not get through 90 minutes, we might make some adjustments or some changes,” Schmid said. “We think with the amount of rest we’ve had from our game on Friday, we feel good about the group. We haven’t made final decisions. There are probably three or four things that are up in the air for us. We just want to approach every game to win it. Sometimes that means you make lineup changes and sometimes you don’t.”
Both Schmid and Philadelphia Head Coach Jim Curtin said their clubs were as healthy as they’ve been all season, setting up for a fiercely competitive match at PPL Park.
While the Sounders are seeking a fourth Open Cup title, the Union will look to lift the first trophy in the club’s five-year history. Both teams are riding unbeaten streaks in MLS play, Seattle going 4-0-1 in the last five matches and Philadelphia going 3-0-1 in the last four.
Both clubs have a lot at stake and the players feel the importance to their respective organizations.
“It means a lot to be in the final and to be representing Seattle and a team that’s been so successful in the tournament,” said Seattle forward Kenny Cooper, who has six goals in four Open Cup matches this year. “It’s an important tournament for the club and means so much to the club.”
Kickoff on Tuesday is scheduled for 4:30 pm PT with live television coverage on Gol-TV. SoundersFC.com will carry a full audio stream of the match.