Three Big Storylines (these Gamethreads have a format, might as well stick to it):
- Philadelphia is still smarting from losing the 101st US Open Cup Final last year to your Seattle Sounders. They have made the final again and won the coin flip (again) to host the final. This is a lost year for the Philadelphia Union as they have 34 points from 31 played in league play and are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference. A win here brings the six year old club their first trophy, a Concacaf Champions League berth for 2016 and salvages at least part of a lost season. A loss and they are just two time losing finalists in front of an apathetic fan base.
- Ticket sales are going to be a talking point. Unless there is a big walk up sale surge in Chester at PPL park, then the NWSL Final tomorrow at a neutral field in Portland is likely going to outsell the US Open Cup Final at home for the Philadelphia Union.
- It's September 30th and Philadelphia still do not have an established #1 keeper for this game. John McCarthy has played in the US Open Cup and been excellent in getting the team to the final while 2014 Number 1 overall MLS SuperDraft pick Andre Blake has been the starter in MLS play and was great over the weekend in a 1-1 draw at the New England Revolution. Additionally both teams rested players over the weekend and should have their first choice team available.
From a Sounders Point of View:
A win by Sporting KC gives them a CCL berth for 2016. With the Western Conference standings in such flux, there is a very small chance that Sporting KC having the CCL berth in hand let's the next berth slide down to the Sounders.
Personally I am still not over the 2012 US Open Cup Final in Sporting Park and will be cheering for the Union. (Ricardo Salazar gave the Sounders six yellows, Sporting KC zero. In the penalty kicks he then called Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning off his line after Gspurning saved a penalty by Paulo Nagamura despite Sporting KC's keeper doing the same thing the entire penalty shootout and the Sounders went on to lose in Penalties by one goal.)
TV and Streaming Listings:
Lastly, certain segments of the soccer viewing public in this country have continuously bemoaned the lack of US Open Coverage and particularly that there has been little or no TV coverage (your author is guilty as charged). Well today is our chance. ESPN2 has picked up the game and is
sending using it's normal MLS announcing team of Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman to cover the game, if the ratings do well we can expect to see at least the final on TV next year as well.
This is your Sounder at Heart US Open Cup Final Gamethread. Watch with us.