It’s a pretty strange feeling that the Philadelphia Union are no longer in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup anymore isn’t it?
For the first time since they failed to qualify in 2010 and 2011, the Union’s Open Cup campaign was one-and-done after a 2-1 loss to D.C. United last week at Audi Field.
The oldest soccer competition in the U.S. continues on nonetheless with two games tonight, five games tomorrow and one on Thursday.
While all but two of the teams left are MLS and are therefore officially enemies of the Union, here is some advice on who you might want to root for if you decide to fire up ESPN+* this week.
New Mexico United
The first-year club has been turning a lot of heads, in part thanks to former Philadelphia Union draft pick and Bethlehem Steel FC star Santi Moar. The 25-year-old Spaniard has nine goals and a pair of assists in 15 appearances for New Mexico, which currently sits in the third place in the Western Conference. Even if Moar wasn’t involved, you have to pull for one of the only two USL Championship teams left.
June 19 - New Mexico United at FC Dallas, 8 p.m. ET
Saint Louis FC
The other USL Championship team still in the mix is also the home of former Villanova University and West Chester United midfielder Oscar Umar. Umar was sent off in the second half against Bethlehem Steel on Saturday night in league play but look for him in the lineup for Saint Louis in their match against FC Cincinnati on Wednesday.
June 19 - Saint Louis FC vs FC Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m. ET
Really, Atlanta? While you can never truly root for a conference rival, Atlanta beating Columbus Crew would give them at least one extra game to play, which could benefit the Union in the Eastern Conference standings. Jeff Larentowicz getting another trophy wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world either.
June 18 - Atlanta United at Columbus Crew, 7 p.m. ET
There’s similar logic behind rooting for D.C. United. The longer they are alive in the tournament the longer they have to fight a two-front battle. Rooney and company are currently in third place, just four points behind the Union so any advantage the Union can get they’ll certainly take.
June 19 - D.C. United vs New York City FC, 7 p.m. ET
They’re playing Houston Dynamo in Houston so why not root against the team that beat the Union in last year’s final?
June 18 - Minnesota United at Houston Dynamo, 7 p.m. ET
Los Angeles FC
We still like Jordan Harvey, right?
June 20 - Los Angeles FC vs San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. ET
New England City
This one is really a toss up and if we’re being honest nobody who isn’t a die-hard Revs or Orlando fan is watching this one.
June 19 - New England Revolution at Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.
This one is also a toss up but should at least be a decent game.
June 19 - Portland Timbers vs Los Angeles Galaxy, 11 p.m.
How to Watch
Every game of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is being broadcast exclusively on ESPN+*.
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