When asked what winning the US Open Cup would mean to the writers and editors of The Brotherly Game, everyone had a lot to say and weighed in with a bevy of different responses.
Barry Evans- A trophy, celebration, the euphoria that winning a cup actually brings is incredible. Union fans haven't felt that before, and it is great. It is also something to build on next year.
Andrew Stoltzfus- It would mean the franchise comes to a crossroads where the front office can't hide their intentions. Winning a spot in the CCL means additional budget and necessary squad depth both in numbers and talent. They can't hide behind just doing enough to get by. Do they actually care about building this franchise into a contender or is it just to get by? What follows as a result of this game would determine just that.
Matt Reppert- It would hopefully set a precedent that maybe, just maybe that this team can carve out a spot in the Philadelphia sporting consciousness. It would mean that there is some light at the end of what is currently, a historically bad season. It could also serve as a springboard for the team to realize that it can actually win something and not be a punching bag for the rest of the league.
Heather Reppert- It would mean everything. That all of the money and emotions I've spent the last six years meant something. It will be something the fans at the game and the players will share for the rest of our lives.
Colin Campbell- The Philadelphia Union had their first season while I was in the 7th grade, and I remember proudly wearing my Union t-shirt I had gotten as a Christmas gift on March 25th, 2010. That night I turned on ESPN and watched the very first Union game against Seattle Sounders and immediately fell in love with the blue and gold. I attended my first Union game at Lincoln Financial Field, sitting with the Sons of Ben in the first ever draw against FC Dallas on May 15th and the rush of adrenaline stemming from Danny Mwanga's late equalizer. I remember crying tears of joy when the Union qualified for the playoffs for the first time in the teams history in 2011, and I remember crying tears of sorrow when they were eliminated. I remember bawling my eyes out when my boyhood hero Sebastien Le Toux was traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps in February of 2012. I remember the excitement that dominated September 2014 of the US Open Cup final. But of all the emotions I've felt for the Union, I remember most the felling of dread, sorrow and despair as I watched Clint Dempsey hoist the US Open Cup in our home. I still feel sick to my stomach when I think about it. I have patiently waited 6 long seasons for the Union to bring home a title; now, we have that chance. Philadelphia Union, do not let this opportunity slip through your fingers.
Jared Young- Beyond what a win would mean for the club, I'm going to the game with my 10 year old son, and I would love to see his face if they win and I also want him to see mine.
Douglas Gobrecht- For 6 years I've done just about everything for/with this club. This club is apart of my life. From traveling to New York/DC, to spending a small fortune on merchandise, to attending matches and exhausting myself cheering (Red Bulls USOC match this year was easily the best game I've been to). It would be a really amazing experience that could really set the vision that this team can succeed and this stigma of being a losing franchise may finally go away. Plus anyone else excited for Champions League play?
Nicholas Youngstein- It would be a coming-of-age for the franchise. No longer would they be the team MLS added because a fervent fanbase demanded it. They would have a heightened international profile by getting to play in the COCACAF Champions League, regardless of their results. And, it would put Union on the books for a trophy in far fewer seasons than the franchise that calls Harrison, New Jersey home.
Rich Ransom- It would mean everything. Unlike the other big four teams, we were on the ground floor for this. To win is a big moment in the history of this team for the fans. Plus, Champions League. No matter what region, it matters. Not to mention, beating Kansas City will just be even better. I hate those guys.
John Rossi- This franchise has been dysfunctional for most of its history, but here we are, in our second cup final. An Open Cup trophy is a reward to the fans that have supported a truly awful team when it may have been easier and more enjoyable to do just about anything else. Furthermore, an Open Cup Final victory and all it entails could serve as the catalyst for a revival, if this club was ever alive. It could be the Union's chance to move from perennial disappointment to perennial average team, or more! But even if a trophy changes nothing, it's still a trophy. Sure, having a dynasty would be nice, but when a trophy comes along, celebrate it. Even if it's just for a few days, forget about all of the club's shortcomings and rejoice in its success, no matter how fleeting. We deserve that much.
Jason Kates- As someone who is a Union fan but not always able to watch the games (being in Massachusetts for college makes it difficult to tune in), the Union winning the USOC would definitely be a nice way to get me more interested in watching this team. Despite the tough season this team is going through, to win this and give the Union fans the joy they haven't been able to experience would be fantastic. This victory could also prove to be a springboard in an increase in viewers. The word "Philadelphia" and "championship" have not been used in the same sentence for a very long time (besides 2008) so a win here would be really nice and show people that they can compete.
Eugene Rupinski- It's been a tough couple of years for the Union. Winning the US Open Cup would give the club and the supporters a sense of pride they haven't had in a very long time, and would hopefully help set the club on a path toward the MLS Cup.