The Philadelphia Union got their 2017 U.S. Open Cup campaign off on the right foot, defeating old nemesis Harrisburg City Islanders 3-1 at Talen Energy Stadium tonight. Derrick Jones and Marcus Epps scored their first ever goals for the Union and CJ Sapong continued his good run of form, scoring as well.
In the 19th minute, Jay Simpson played a great ball back to Derrick Jones, who hit a shot past Sean Lewis to give the Union a 1-0 lead.
In the 33rd minute, CJ Sapong would double the Union’s lead on a great move and left-footed shot that caught Lewis flat-footed.
Harrisburg would draw one back however before the end of the first half on a defensive breakdown. Sean McLaws made a great run down the right, beating Jack Elliott to a ball. Josh Yaro was still upfield, so when McLaws crossed the ball to Paul Wilson, he was unattended. That drew Keegan Rosenberry to stop the chance, but he couldnt defend two guys at once. Wilson was able to slot the ball over to Jonny Mendoza, and Mendoza easily buried his chance.
The Union would get one more though to put it away on a brilliant goal by Marcus Epps. Epps opened his Philadelphia Union account with a flourish, making a great move to beat the defender and then calmly slotting the ball far post.
There were some real defensive lapses by the Union though, and it at times seemed like they couldn’t stop awarding Harrisburg corner kicks - which were their undoing against New York City FC a couple weeks ago. Luckily Harrisburg was unable to convert any of their set piece opportunities and the Union were able to walk away unscathed.
Notes: Per Dave Leno, Josh Yaro got his green card which qualifies him as a domestic player. Giliano Wijnaldum left the game in the 82nd minute after it appeared he cramped up and couldn’t continue.
Philadelphia Union: John McCarthy; Giliano Wijnaldum (Ray Gaddis, 82’), Jack Elliott, Josh Yaro, Keegan Rosenberry; Haris Medunjanin, Derrick Jones; CJ Sapong (Chris Pontius, 64’), Roland Alberg, Marcus Epps (Fafa Picault, 73’); Jay Simpson
Harrisburg City Islanders: Sean Lewis; Shane McLaws, Abass Mohammed (Jake Bond, 79’), Lee Nishanian, Travis Brent; Rasheed Olabiyi (Danny DiPrima, 85’), Mouhamed Dabo (John Grosh, 61’), Jonny Mendoza, Paul Wilson, Pedro Ribeiro; Jamie Thomas
Scoring: Philadelphia - Derrick Jones (19‘), CJ Sapong (33‘), Marcus Epps (47‘); Harrisburg - Jonny Mendoza (37’)
Disciplinary: Philadelphia - None; Harrisburg - Pedro Ribeiro (Yellow - 41’), Abass Mohammed (Yellow - 67’), Jake Bond (Yellow - 85’)