With the US Open Cup Final tomorrow night, the Seattle Sounders were in town to discuss the final with the Philadelphia Union during today's press conference. Typically Jim Curtin takes center stage but Kenny Cooper and Sebastien Le Toux, brothers from another mother, were the ones with the spotlight.
Philadelphia's Championship Woes
When Jim Curtin was posed with the question regarding Philadelphia's lack of trophies in all professional sports, he looked rather disgruntled. Almost annoyed that a writer would bring it up, I thought Curtin was going to leap across the table and decapitate the puny sports journalist. The mention of Smarty Jones cheered him up and he answered politely.
Jim Curtin has made one thing clear: The US Open Cup is Philadelphia's tournament. From the first moment he step foot in the managerial role it was all about winning. He wants this trophy and he doesn't want it for himself or even for his players. Born and raised in Philadelphia he wants it for the city. No questions asked. He knows the struggle in sports and he knows what a winner does to this city and he wants it for us fans. He acknowledged the road was difficult with almost losing to Harrisburg and New York in the first two rounds, but it doesn't matter.
This year is Philadelphia's year and you'll have to pry it out of Curtin's dead, cold hands if you want it.
MLS Rest and Health
Both coaches informed the media that their respective teams were absolutely healthy - even going as far as to say that they were as healthy as they have been. As for Seattle, the question wasn't health, it was rest. With the Union playing a majority of their cupcake lineup on Saturday, the Sounders elected to play a mainly full squad for their clash against Real Salt Lake on Friday.
Where Schmid was able to say the team was fairly rested, he continued to refer to "decisions" he would have to make tomorrow morning regarding his lineup. Maybe Schmid was bluffing to try and trick his opponent, but there is some concern that the time between Friday and tomorrow might not be enough for the current MLS league leaders.
Sebastien Le Toux and Kenny Cooper are almost identical. Seemingly separated at birth, the only difference between the two is that Cooper looks as if he came across a Super Mario mushroom somewhere down the line. He is the larger doppelgänger of Le Toux. The two good friends not only share the same physical feature in common, but also are two of this year's tournament top scorers.
The question about their birth parents are still lingering in the press room air, but the sentiment was shared that there would be no doubt what was coveted more. Neither player was ready to say they wanted to win the tournament's top scorer, in fact I don't think they cared. It was about the cup for their teams, not about the individual accolades.
We shall see what happens tomorrow as the Union host Seattle in the final. There are still plenty of seats available, but I assure you that PPL Park will be loud and the tension in the air will be palpable.