Union look to bypass new look New York Cosmos in fifth round Open Cup tilt at PPL Park


New York Cosmos at Philadelphia Union

What: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fifth round; When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: PPL Park, Chester, Pa.; Tickets: Click here

TV: Live stream via philadelphiaunion.com/live with play-by-play announcer Jonathan Yardley and color analyst Kristian Dyer

Parking: $15 for general admission; $5 for season ticket holders for lots A, B, C.

Mass transit: There will be one (1) shuttle from Chester Transportation Center to PPL Park and back.



Trust that the Union will not sleep on the Cosmos, next up in fifth round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play Tuesday at PPL Park (7 p.m., purchase tickets).

This Cosmos team is on a tear as of recent, earning its way to this recent round of play outscoring their opponents, 5-0, the most recent a 3-0 dispatching of Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls last Saturday. The defending NASL champions will challenge the Union looking to improve on a seven match unbeaten streak in all competitions, sitting second best in the NASL with a record of 6-1-2 (19 points) outscoring NASL foes a league best, 14-3.

The plus side is that the Union stands to face some serious competition before heading back into MLS play this Saturday with a trip to Foxborough, Mass. to face Eastern Conference leaders New England (7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet). The Union has been on a bit of a tear of its own in terms of getting goals at the right time. In its last six matches, the Union has accounted for 16 goals, in all competitions and is unbeaten in its last four.

Defensively, the Union will need to be solid as the Cosmos are a team that likes to attack from all angles. Norwegian forward Mads Stokkelien is an excellent finisher of the ball, and puts himself in perfect situations to score. Stokkelien leads the Cosmos in NASL with three goals and three assists to boot (no pun intended) in nine matches played.  Additionally, players like the Brazilian born Marcos Senna, Italian Alessandro Nocelli and North Jersey product Danny Szetela, a journeyman who has seemingly found himself a solid home with the Cosmos since joining last season.

Yardley product Jimmy Ockford has been stellar in the back for the Cosmos and even has a goal to his credit this season. Ockford who was a 2014 MLS SuperDraft first round pick by Seattle has gotten valuable minutes during a season-long loan spell in New York. After the pairings were announced, Ockford, who attended Pennsbury High School in nearby Fairless Hills, engaged in this friendly ribbing with Union forward Antoine Hoppenot.

Whoever comes out on top will play the winner between the fifth round pairing of the Rochester Rhinos of USL-PRO and MLS’ Revolution. Should the Union win, Philly will once again host the match at PPL Park, this time on July 8 at 7 p.m.

“This is game to game, enough of us have played in this tournament to know exactly how this works,” Union interim manager Jim Curtin said following the win against Harrisburg. “It’s a survive and advance type of tournament and we need to do all we can to make sure that we are the ones surviving.”

What do you think of this match-up? Leave a comment below.

Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com

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