Blogs > Union Tally

A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Open Cup caper: When will the Union play their quarterfinal match?

The Union are still playing for the U.S. Open Cup.
Somewhere, and eventually.
The Philadelphia Union are into the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

When that game will be played remains a mystery.

Jim Curtin shed some light on the matter Tuesday, saying that the Union are preparing for a July 21 date with the New York Red Bulls at a site and time to be determined.

“It’s changed a lot,” Curtin said after training. “In the past, I’ve had a lot of different emails and calls and correspondence. As of right now, I’m told it’s on the 21st. That’s the info I have. The venue is still to be determined.”

For its part, U.S. Soccer still lists the date on its website at TBD. The federation tweeted five days ago that they would have dates scheduled already, but that seems to have gone by the wayside in regard to the Union/Red Bulls date.

Let’s wade into the convoluted logic holding up something so simple as a game date. U.S. Soccer, which operates the tournament, clearly states that semifinals will be held July 21 or 22. Those blackout dates were established before the tournament began, a guide around which clubs should schedule their other events, such as friendlies.

Despite this, the Red Bulls agreed to take part in the International Challenge Cup, a grandiose sounding yet ultimately meaningless money grab … I mean friendly … against English Premier League champions Chelsea at Red Bull Arena July 22. The arena is also occupied July 21 for an ICC match between French club Paris Saint-Germain and Italy’s Fiorentina. (Hence the added wrinkle of the neutral site.)

This part of the conflict isn’t unique to the Red Bulls, though. Both of the fifth-round combatants in one of the Western Bracket ties were due to play in the ICC July 22. The L.A. Galaxy, which prevailed over San Jose, are scheduled to meet Barcelona July 22, meaning their match with Real Salt Lake had to be moved July 14, an decision apparently taken amicably with the blessing of U.S. Soccer.

That, however, is not an option for the Union, which host English club AFC Bournemouth for a friendly July 14 at PPL Park. It’s clearly not the prestige or profit generator that Red Bulls’ fixture is, but it was scheduled within the bylaws of the competition, a courtesy Red Bulls either overlooked or ignored. It also torpedoes a report from The Washington Post’s Steven Goff about that possibility.

The Red Bulls originally won the right to host in a draw held June 18. Submission to host is voluntary, and why they were allowed to put in to host when their venue was clearly occupied is beyond me.

On page 46 of the 2015 U.S. Open Handbook (pdf), the tournament provides recourse for such an issue:

For the Fourth, Fifth and Quarterfinal Rounds, a team can petition U.S. Soccer to request a change of match dates upon mutual consent of the participating teams. Only for exceptional circumstances will U.S. Soccer consider a request for a new match date that is later than the date already established for the round. Date change requests must include documentation from each of the participating teams agreeing to the date change. Any incremental costs incurred to accommodate the change of dates (i.e. incremental travel costs for the referee crew or Match Commissioner, etc.) must be covered by the team that initially proposes the request.”

But there’s another statute that holds sway. In this pdf of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (in keeping with the MLS Players Union’s generally clueless media relations and public outreach, the only CBA posted on their website isn’t the last one but rather the one that expired in 2010. Stay hot.), players are protected from having to play a game in, say, the Open Cup on a Tuesday and an international friendly on a Wednesday, which would seem to nullify the July 21 date. From Section 17.3:

No MLS Team (not including Reserve Teams) may play a game within thirty-six (36) hours after the end of a prior game unless such schedule is reasonably unavoidable, in which case no Player shall play in both such games.

This recap by Once a Metro proposes moving the game a week later to July 28, which provides an acceptable window for each team. The Red Bulls have another useless friendly Sunday, July 26 against Portuguese club Benfica, the day the Union travel to D.C. to take on United. With the Red Bulls and Union playing the following Saturday, Aug. 1 at PPL Park, a July 28 or 29 date would satisfy all the conditions.

It won’t, however, reconcile the push and pull within American soccer. In a league fighting to forge its own identity, there’s a growing sentiment that friendlies are an outdated nuisance, a relic that the league has outgrown. On the flipside, the U.S. Open Cup is still battling for traction to be taken seriously beyond the soccer mainstream. There was even briefly talk about the Red Bulls forfeiting the game, three wins away from just their second trophy in franchise history, a decision that would ultimately be detrimental to all involved.

Whenever the Union and Red Bulls happen to find themselves on the same field, it will be thanks to a compromise that is detrimental to the competition.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Blogger Deepster Langan said...

We were served a blood orange intermezzo which was divine. For our dinner at party venue nyc we served Filet Mignon with a cognac sauce. People still are talking about the food.

July 14, 2015 at 7:13 AM 
Blogger McFaddens Ballpark said...

Enjoy your day in Sports Bar in Philly play and fun with family, friends.

November 3, 2015 at 7:28 AM 
Blogger Mcfadden's Pittsburgh said...

Today Happiest of Hours in sports bar come n joy.

November 3, 2015 at 8:02 AM 
Blogger david wirth said...

Get a blank ATM CARD and cash good money/funds directly today in any ATM
machine around you anywhere in the world. It's 100% guaranteed secure with
no worries of being caught because the blank card it's already programmed
and loaded with good funds in it, in such a way that's not traceable which
also have a technique that makes it impossible for the CCTV to detect you,
so get the blank ATM CARD today at our email address: and make good money today

March 21, 2017 at 12:51 AM 
Blogger harry said...

We sell physical loaded ATM cards . It is a strong card that can be used to withdraw Cash at any ATM Machine. This Cards comes in Visa/Master Card. Therefore it works at any ATM Machine that accept Visa/master Card
Worldwide. CAN I USE THIS READY MADE ATM CARD TO BUY STUFF IN STORES? OR ONLINE SHOPPING? PAY BILLS? Yes, with this physical ATM card, you can use it to pay stuff at stores through POS. With this ATM card information, you can use it online to pay bills or do online shopping. When you order for this card, Full information about the card will be given to you. We also reload your card when funds is exhausted.
DO I NEED TO ORDER NEW CARD EVERY TIME WHEN THE FUNDS HAS FINISHED? No, if you have already ordered our card, there is no need to keep ordering new cards, Just contact us for a reload. We shall easily reload the ATM card already in your possession. contact us on}}

October 24, 2017 at 8:33 PM 
Blogger harry said...

I want to testify of how i got cured from HIV AIDS, I got infected with HIV
AIDS disease in the year 2013 and I have visited several herbalists, spiritualists and pastors for cure
but all to no avail, my world was gradually coming to an end until i saw a post in a health
forum about a herbal spell caster from West Africa who casts herbal spells to cure all kind of
deadly diseases including HIV AIDS, ALS, MND, Epilepsy, Leukemia, Asthma, Cancer, Gonorrhea, at first i doubted if it was real but decided to give it a try, when i contact this
herbal spell caster on his email, he prepared a herbal spell portion and sent it to me via
courier service, when i received this herbal spell portion, he gave me some
instructions on how to apply it, when i applied it as instructed,then after 8
days, then i went to the hospital for a test and to my greatest
surprise i was tested negative, I am now HIV Negative (-) all thanks to can Contact this great
herbal spell caster via his +2348032460627

October 24, 2017 at 8:39 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home