Match Preview

Union begin U.S. Open Cup run at Minnesota United


Philadelphia Union is back in action with a Tuesday night showdown against Minnesota United in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Kick off is set for 8:30pm ET with the match streamed for free via the Bleacher Report App and B/R Football on YouTube.

The Boys in Blue enter in the Round of 32 for the regionalized matchup that sees the Union playing in an expanded region via a coin toss. Philly enters the contest coming off a 1-0 victory over rival New York Red Bulls that saw midfielder Daniel Gazdag score his fourth goal in league play with a 31st minute finish from the penalty spot. The feisty matchup saw similar high pressing and direct styles on the pitch with the Union collecting the shutout behind strong play from goalkeeper Andre Blake and center back Damion Lowe.

Tuesday's match will be the Union's third match in a week and its third unique competition. After starting off in Concacaf Champions League where the club reach the semifinals for the second time in history, the Union now start things in the oldest tournament in the United States. The compact schedule and long distances between the matches will see the squad turn to its depth as they look to continue to play in their preferred style that requires mental sharpness in addition to physical. During his postgame press conference, Head Coach Jim Curtin commented that fans can expect to see midfielder Jesus Bueno in the lineup as a hint that there will be more changes to the lineup for the Open Cup match.

The Union will be entering their 12th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup where the club has amassed a record of 19-7-4 in the Open Cup. They have reached the final of the tournament three times, all under Jim Curtin, with the most recent final coming in 2018 at the Houston Dynamo.

In their first matches of previous U.S. Open Cup tournaments that the Boys in Blue have entered, they have tallied a 7-4-0 mark, including a 4-2-0 record in opening round matches of their last six tournaments.

Minnesota United enters the match coming off a 3-2 road loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night. The Loons fell behind early via a Brian White goal in the 17th minute but equalized in the 33rd with a set piece goal from Michael Boxall. The Whitecaps took control in the second half with a pair of goals four minutes apart to grab a 3-1 lead before Jeong Sang-Bin started the comeback attempt that came up short.

Adrian Heath's side sits in eighth place in the Western Conference with 12 points through 10 league matches with the majority of their points coming from road wins where they are 3-3. Playing in front of their Wonder Wall of supporters has yet to see three points from Minnesota United at home with the club only getting three draws and a loss at Allianza Field.

Minnesota United were pushed to the limit but advanced to the Round of 32 with a 3-1 road victory over Detroit City FC on Tuesday night. The Loons fell behind early in the match with a fifth minute goal from the hosts but battled back with a trio of goals in a six minute span to grab momentum. Pushing for the equalizer for the majority of the match, it finally game in the 60th minute with Franco Fragapane getting through at the hour mark. Three minutes later Emmanuel Iwe gave Minnesota the lead with Luis Amarilla adding the insurance goal to help the Loons secure their spot into the next round of the competition.