Philadelphia Union will take on Minnesota United in Round of 32 of US Open Cup

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union are in the midst of a Concacaf Champions League (CCL) Semifinal, but they now know who they’ll face in the US Open Cup competition. Philly travels to Minnesota on May 9th to take on the Loons in the Round of 32 in the 109th iteration of the US Open Cup!

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Union goes to Minnesota to kick off Open Cup Campaign

As Philly is readying for their much anticipated second leg of the CCL semifinals against LAFC, they are also nine games into a pretty up-and-down MLS Campaign. On top of that, they now know that a week after their CCL semifinal they will have to go on the road to Minnesota to kick off Open Cup play. Can this Philadelphia side balance the number of games they want to play in 2023 and start finding more success than they have had early on?

This competition is a historic one and is the quickest and “easiest way” to win a trophy. About 10 years back Philly would prioritize this competition over MLS play making two straight finals and bitterly losing both at home in 2014, and 2015. Philly also made the 2018 final but lost it in terrible fashion on the road. As Philadelphia has started to become one of the best clubs in MLS, they have put less of an onus on winning this competition; however, this year presents an interesting opportunity.

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Group Eight: The Union is in the Midwest now?

Philadelphia enters this year’s US Open Cup in the Round of 32. They were drawn into group eight which is interesting as the teams they’ll face in their first two games are not the normal teams Philly usually goes up against in the Open Cup. Here’s a look at Group 8:

  • Philadelphia Union
  • Chicago Fire FC
  • Minnesota United FC
  • St. Louis City SC

Usually, Philly gets paired with other teams in the northeast; DC, the New York teams, any USL side that is in the tri-state area, etc. This year, Philadelphia is seeded with teams from the Midwest. Their Round of 32 matchup with Minnesota United is very different than years past. Gone are the days of playing teams Harrisburg City Islanders, Rochester Rinhos, DC United, or even Orlando City. Whatever the reason for putting the Union in a group with midwestern teams, their path to success in this competition is cut out for them.

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Five wins to lift the Cup

The Union could be on a high from advancing on to the CCL final or looking to get back onto the field after failing to get past LAFC yet again. Either way, Philly will likely look to get minutes for more of their bench players in US Open Cup play. No matter who is on the field, one thing is for sure; win five games, then you win the trophy. Here’s a look at the schedule of the remaining Open Cup rounds:

  • Round of 32: May 9-10
  • Round of 16: May 23-24
  • Quarterfinals: June 6-7
  • Semifinals: Aug. 23
  • Final: Sept. 27

Who knows if Philly will take this competition seriously in a year where there’s CCL, MLS, and even Leagues Cup all taking place. There is a group of fans who remember the old Open Cup successes when this team was not very good, but still persevered to make Cup runs. The 2023 version of the Union may have their sights set on bigger prizes, but if they want another ticket to CCL for next year, the “easiest path” is to become US Open Cup champions!

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union