2014 US Open Cup

Open Cup final preview: Is a championship coming to Philly tonight?

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This one’s for all the marbles.

The Seattle Sounders will hope to win their fourth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final since 2009, in turn denying the Philadelphia Union their first ever crown when the two sides tangle at PPL Park tonight (730pm ET, Gol TV).

Both teams are in fine form, with Philadelphia boasting a 3W-1T record in its last four matches and Seattle winners of fourth-straight since a Aug. 20 tie against San Jose.

[ MORE: Le Toux hopes to win 2nd title by defeating old club ]

The Sounders took a tough path to the final, having to beat MLS sides San Jose, Portland and Chicago after blasting USASA entrant PSA Elite in the fourth round.

The Union’s road meant just two MLS opponents, Dallas and New England, after beating the New York Cosmos of the NASL and the Harrisburg City Islanders of USL PRO.

Philadelphia and Seattle met on May 3 in Washington, with the Sounders triumphing with a 2-1 score line. The last time the two sides met in Chester, it was a 2-2 draw.

The all-time series stands is relatively even, beginning with first regular season match in Union history and spanning two Philly wins, three Seattle victories and two ties.

Silverbacks player’s face stomp ignites four red cards; overshadows upset of Colorado (video)

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source:  At least bites can only transmit disease.

The Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL should be celebrating a 2-1 upset of the Colorado Rapids, as head coach Eric Wynalda continues his winning ways in the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

Instead, they are lamenting a regrettable and heinous incident that saw a four players given red cards and both head coaches sent to the stands.

Silverbacks forward Jaime Chavez, 26, stomped on the face of prone Rapids defender Drew Moor after a battle for the ball sent Moor to the turf, opening an “inch-wide cut” on the Rapids captain. The fight that followed featured Rapids defender Marc Burch taking a swing at Chavez, and left Atlanta down to 8-men for the rest of the match.

Burch was dismissed by referee Juan Guzman, but the Silverbacks saw three players sent off: Chavez as well as Kwadwo Poku and Borfor Carr. Wynalda and his Colorado counterpart, Pablo Mastroeni, were also sent off for leaving their technical areas.

Remarkably, Atlanta only conceded once the rest of the way. Perhaps of bigger note, the incident was the first card shown of either color in the match. Three yellows were shown the rest of the way.

Head here for the video and skip to the 50-minute mark for the lead-up to the stomp and ensuing madness.

Chavez probably shouldn’t play again this season, if not longer. As for anything that ensued, it’s terrible for the game but almost understandable. If I was Burch, I would’ve responded the same way if not worse. Awful.

Ex-Red Bulls set to feature for Cosmos in New York City Derby/Open Cup

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When the 2014 US Open Cup rolls through New York this weekend, it will bring with it a match that New York Cosmos fans have wanted for a long, long time… perhaps even longer than you think.

The current NASL club may be just a few years old, but the brand that once boasted Pele still has plenty of fans. And so the New York Red Bulls’ fourth-round Cup match with the Cosmos has NY’s attention.

“This is going to be the real first New York derby that we’ve ever had in soccer,” said Cosmos defender Hunter Freeman. “And because of the recognition the Cosmos name has worldwide, it’s pretty amazing.

“I’m sure a lot of people laugh at us and say, ‘Technically you’re in the second division.’ But we don’t look at it that way.”

Freeman is one of multiple Cosmos players who would be justified to feel added incentive. A former Red Bulls player from 2007-08, Freeman met his wife in New York and was able to use his time with the club to take his career where he always wanted it to go: Europe, where he suited up for IK Start from 2009-10.

So is he fired up? Would a win mean even more than a simple upset?

“Definitely, 100 percent,” Freeman said. “If I told you anything else, it would be a lie and not the truth. For me, personally, I don’t look at it as getting revenge against the club I once played for because I’ve played many games since I left.”

Club captain Carlos Mendes, 33, played more than 140 matches for the Red Bulls and was a fixture for the MLS side from 2005, when they were still the MetroStars, to 2011.

“It’s a little different,” Mendes said. “I’m excited game for the game. They are a really good team and we’ll have to be prepared and play well. Having my history there, the club will always be a part of my history. But we need to try and come out and win and advance in the Open Cup.

“It would mean something because it’s huge for our club, to be back after so many years. We want to do well. We have guys who have played at every level.

The Cosmos and Red Bulls kick off at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. on Saturday at 8:30pm ET.

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