The Philadelphia Union advanced to the third Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final in club history on Wednesday night with a 3-0 win at home over the Chicago Fire. Here are my takeaways:
Cory Burke is the striker we needed and deserve. Cory Burke is one of the most in-form players on the Union roster. It’s very simple: when he starts, he scores. Cory has 8 goals and 1 assist in 8 starts in all first team competitions this year. Burke uses his strength and pace to blow past defenders, and is a handful to contain upfront. Jim Curtin has some hard decisions to make down the stretch regarding his starting striker.
Alejandro Bedoya continues to be SEVERELY underrated by Union supporters. O captain my captain! Alejandro Bedoya played one of his best games in the Union blue and gold last night, providing the assist on both of Cory Burke’s goals. Along with his usual defensive shift in the midfield, he continues to show leadership and courage week in and week out. While he is not as flashy as other designated players in the league (Vela, Zlatan, Giovinco, Josef Martinez) he continues to provide for the Union, and I think it’s time he started to get his credit.
Jim Curtin is a genius in the Open Cup. Well I said it. Jim Curtin is in his third Open Cup final with the Union. He continues to guide his squad through the tournament year in and year out. It is not always the prettiest way to do it, but his boys get the job done. Is this finally the year he brings it home? Is this enough to keep the boos around his name quiet? Winning the Open Cup will put Philadelphia in the CONCACAF Champions League, which would bring good exposure and more $, both of which could help Curtin. With Houston waiting in the wings, we will see what Jim has up his sleeve.
What were your takeaways from Wednesday night’s match? Let us hear them in the comments.