UNION WIN BID TO HOST SEMIFINAL ROUND OF U.S. OPEN CUP (SHOULD THEY MAKE IT)
The semifinal, against either Sporting Kansas City or Dayton Lions, would be held at PPL Park either July 10 or July 11 at 7:30 p.m.
If Dayton beats K.C., the match will be July 10. If K.C. wins, the match will be July 11.
If you haven't noticed, the Union are playing this tournament to win it. In a season in which they are mired near last place in the MLS Eastern Conference table, the Open Cup provides a chance for the Union to "chase some silverware ... and we're taking this very seriously," said Union manager John Hackworth.
Added Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz in a statement: "Winning the bid to host the semifinal round ... is very important to us. We are definitely not looking past Harrisburg, but if we advance, we wanted to make sure that we had the opportunity to play at home in front of our fans. Home field advantage is very important in our quest to win our first ever trophy and secure a spot in next year's CONCACAF Champions League Tournament."
UPDATED 6:25 P.M.
I caught up with Sakiewicz, who offered a little insight into the bidding process, as well as the lineup the Union plan on throwing out there against Harrisburg City.
"It's a sealed-bid process," Sakiewicz said, "so we don't know what (other clubs) are bidding, and they don't know ours. But it was really important for us to win this. We're in this to win it."
Because the Union have made it this far, they're not taking the Open Cup lightly. And, as Sakiewicz said, they never do.
"We've never approached it that way in our history, by going with a half a lineup," Sakiewicz said. "We've always gone and tried to put our best lineup out there. Unfortunately, in 2010 and 2011, we got knocked out, but we will continue to use our best lineup."