Photo: Barb Colligon
Check out PSP’s match report on Tuesday night’s win over Harrisburg City Islanders in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup which includes video of John Hackworth’s postgame press conference and interviews with Bakary Soumare, Ray Gaddis, Brian Carroll, Gabe Farfan and Amobi Okugo.
US Open Cup
John Hackworth said after the Union’s win, “This was a lot tougher of a game than a 5-2 score,” adding, “For us to think that we could escape and not be victimized was not good on our part. I wasn’t very pleased going into the locker room because we did exactly that.”
Hackworth said of the Union letting Harrisburg back into the game, “You never like that as a coach, when you’re winning 3-0 and all of a sudden you’re on your heels. You could see it at the end of the first half when we took the foot off the gas, stopped playing forward and stopped going to goal with urgency. That’s the wrong thing to do. They came out of the half super motivated and threw everything forward in the first eight minutes and got two back, deservedly so. We didn’t handle it very well.”
But the Union coach was pleased with how his team eventually responded. “I think strong teams in general understand the position they put themselves in — and I think you saw that maturity from us tonight. You saw [captain] Brian Carroll get that group together and tell them what they had to do and that it wasn’t good enough. A lot of guys said this is not what we want to have happen, so lets do something about it.”
Jack McInerney said, “We came into the locker room up 3-0 and the first thing that (head coach John Hackworth) said was, ‘They were down 3-0 to New England with way less time (before coming back and winning). We had to go out and realize that they had the power to come back. Two goals and we were like, ‘Here we go again,’ but we stuck to it and grinded it out.”
The City Islanders’ former Union midfielder Morgan Langley said of the goal he scored, “At that point, I think I went a little bit blank, you say, [with] my celebration, I didn’t know what to do. I stopped and realized I just scored at PPL. I wanted to do it in a Union jersey while I was here, but to score here is something I’ll remember. I just hope it’s not the last time.”
Amobi Okugo said after the game, “We want to get the trophy. The semifinals are good, but it’s not good enough. We want to give the silverware to the fan base, to the organization for putting that trust in us. I know myself and Jack (McInerney) were some of the originals, so it’s good to be here for the long run and hopefully we can reward them with a trophy.”
Hackworth said, “We want some silverware in that cabinet, for sure. Wait, did I say silverware? I meant hardware, silver. Whatever. … We want it.”
With the win, the Union become the first Philadelphia team to reach the semifinals since United German Hungarians in 1993.
Chris Vito says the Union’s Cup run is due to Hackworth’s calming influence.
The Union now face Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park on Tuesday July 10 in the semifinals after they topped Dayton Dutch Lions, 3-0.
Said Kansas City’s Matt Besler about returning to PPL, “I don’t think we need much motivation going back up there. Like I said before, we got embarrassed on Saturday and the stakes are going to be high next time we go up there. I think we’re going to be ready.”
Tickets go on sale for the semifinal match today at 3pm.
In the night’s other Open Cup matches, Seattle topped San Jose 1-0 in a very chippy game that included some swinging after the final whistle. Chivas USA edged out Charlotte Eagles 2-1 with a last gasp goal.
Bakary Soumare was at Tuesday night’s game and said, “I’m excited to be here. It’s been going on for a long, long time – far longer than you think. I’m glad it’s finally over with, and I’m excited to start playing with this team.”
Soumare said relationship with former teammate Diego Gutierrez was instrumental in bringing him to Philadelphia. “Right away, I knew it was where I wanted to be. As everyone knows, I have a relationship with [Union Sporting Director] Diego [Gutierrez], the fact that we’ve been friends for a long time. The whole project, the vision of the club, it felt great. Even though I live in Chicago, I’m an East Coast guy. I’m just excited to be back…I’m here for a long-term deal and I want to help this club achieve their goals as far as on the field and what they’re trying to accomplish in the city.”
Soumare said that it will take some time for him to return to full fitness and that he will not travel with the team to Houston and LA.
He elaborated, “I had surgery about three months ago. It was about three months recovery, so this is perfect timing. I want to join the team very soon. I just have to work on my fitness a little bit. As far as injury, I’m fully recovered. I think it will be a matter of time before I can be back on the field and be fully fit. I’ll take a couple weeks to work on my fitness.”
Union Tally has video of Soumare’s introduction to the media.
Soccer America calls the Soumare trade a “no brainer.”
Here are the updated allocation rankings.
Carlos Valdes has been named to MLSSoccer.com’s Team of the Week.
Jack McInerney comes in at No. 3 in the latest Castrol Weekly Top 20 index. At the full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Zac MacMath (No. 45), Lionard Pajoy (No. 78), Gabriel Gomez (No. 84), Sheanon Williams (No. 96), and Carlos Valdes (No. 122).
Here’s a look at what’s at stake in Saturday’s road game from a Houston perspective.
Okugo said of the Dynamo, “Houston is doing pretty well right now. They haven’t lost at home and they have threats like [forward] Will Bruin, who has nine goals this year. It’s going to be a tough game and a battle. We lost to them in the playoffs last year, and I know a couple of the guys here want to get them back.”
Yanks Abroad puts Sheanon Williams at No. 9 in their list of best uncapped players for the USMNT. “Playing with the US U-23 team likely prevented his first cap in January but this January will likely see him finally suit up for the first team.”
Philly Magazine says going to a Union game is great value during economic hard times. “The Philadelphia Union give us more sport for the money.”
Antoine Hoppenot is the guest on the latest Union Sound podcast.
In U-17/18 action at the Development Academy playoffs down Frisco way, PDA topped Lonestar SC Academy 5-0 while FC Delco fell 4-1 to Crossfire Premier. In U-15/16 play, PA Classics defeated Arsenal FC 2-1 and PDA fell 1-0 to San Diego Surf.
Goal.com takes a look through the summer transfer window, which opens today.
The Soccer Wire rounds up Week 7 Elite League results.
The New York Times has 10 things we know about the USMNT.
It’s Portugal vs. Spain today in the semifinals of the Euros (2:45pm, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, ESPN Radio).
Racism at the Euros: Reuters notes, “There were fears that fans from the host nations would cause problems but supporters of other teams have mainly been to blame.”
UEFA believes the England vs. Italy quarterfinal “is likely to record the highest global television audience of any quarterfinal in European Championship history.”
In the US, viewership for the tournament is up 31 percent from four years ago.