West Chester United has shaken off the disappointment of losing to one rival in a U.S. Open Cup replay to sweep another rival in back-to-back games with national cup implications.
The Predators topped Christos FC Wednesday night on PKs are tying them 2-2 in the Werner Fricker Open Cup regional quarterfinal. The match followed another win (5-2) over Christos FC in Maryland on April 10 to advance to the regional quarterfinals of the National Amateur Cup.
“That situation hurt us,” head coach Blaise Santangelo said of their Open Cup exit. “Now we’re trying to go as far as we can go in the national cups.”
West Chester initially advanced in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup with an extra time win over FC Motown but the game had to be replayed because the fourth official told the West Chester staff that could re-enter a player who had been subbed out while being evaluated for a concussion.
FC Motown won the replay 1-0 on a 90th minute goal the following week and after beating NISA club AC Syracuse Pulse and falling on penalties to Rochester NY FC collected $25,000 in prize money for being the furthest advancing amateur team in the competition.
The Predators, hobbled by multiple injuries to key players, fell down 2-0 at the half to Christos on Wednesday but got goals from Troy Amspacher in the 52nd minute and an own goal to tie the game and eventually send it to penalties, where they won the shootout 7-6.
The match was moved to Wednesday night because West Chester’s Open Cup replay was the same weekend as the original date.
West Chester’s two regional cup runs have followed their first state double they completed back in December. They are aiming to get to both Region 1 finals hosted by Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals on June 18 (National Amateur) and June 19 (Werner Fricker).
They’ll host Amherst Shooters on May 8 (time and location to be announced) in the Werner Fricker semifinal.
The Region 1 National Amateur Cup quarterfinal, meanwhile, will be played this Sunday at 5 p.m. at Kildare’s Field in West Chester against Appalachia Steel FC. West Chester advanced to the Region 1 final last year, falling to eventual national champion Lansdowne Yonkers FC. If they advance on Sunday, they’ll take on the winner of Nova FC and BSC Raiders on May 15.
“It’s been a great run and hopefully we can continue it Sunday,” Santangelo said.
West Chester last made a national final in 2018 when they lost to Milwaukee Bavarian SC in the National Amateur Cup final. They won the Werner Fricker Open Cup in 2015.