Wednesday, September 3, 2008

US Open Cup Final preview

This is what people call a good problem. The two teams I support in the US, DC United and Charleston Battery, meet tonight in the US Open Cup final. I should be conflicted, but I'm not. I want the Battery to win. Just call it the American love of the underdog.

Charleston ply their trade in the second division of US soccer. Since there is no hope of promotion for them, ever, this is quite possibly the highest profile game they will ever play. Even bigger than winning the old A-League championship on home soil in 2003 (suck it, Minnesota Thunder). Their chances of pulling it off tonight? A little less than slim, but definitely better than none.

Charleston boast the joint-second top scorer in the tournament so far in Darren Spicer. Spicer's four goals are one behind Frenchie Sebastian Le Toux's tallies for the soon-to-be-repurposed Seattle Sounders. A brace tonight, and the Battery being able to hold either Marc Burch or Luciano Emilio to less than five goals, and Spicer takes the virtual golden boot. I wouldn't count on that happening though, because Spicer's scoring seems to be a cup anomaly. In 23 league matches this season, Spicer has but one goal.

The truth of the matter is that DC United are likely to put all of their eggs in this one-game basket. Their MLS season is not going that well, they blew in the Superliga, and are likely to be embarrassed in the CONCACAF Champions League as well. At least they will do better than the New England Revolution. Really, a 6-1 aggregate loss to Joe Public of T&T? Yuck.

The point stands that DC has worked to get to this point of the competition, routinely putting out top squads, while other MLS teams treated their fans to teams that looked more like reserve members of their youth squads. DC want the trophy, which would be their 12th major trophy in 12 years. There is little reason to think that they will not. All that Charleston has going for them is two wins against MLS competition already, spiced with a semifinal win against a team that looks a lot like that new MLS team in Seattle next year. That's nothing, right?

While I would be very happy to see a repeat of 1999's 4-3 Open Cup win by Charleston, this will probably turn out more like the 4-0 reversal the following season. It is on TV, for those of you with Fox Soccer Channel, at 7:30 EDT tonight. I'm sure there are other ways to see it online as well (wink, wink; nudge, nudge).

Battery website preview
United website preview


Keith said...

I thought you were lying. There's seriously a club named Joe Public?

Bigus Dickus said...

When it asked if I wanted to see that again Keith, I actually screamed NO aloud!

Bigus Dickus said...

Hahahahahaahah. The CONCAF Champions League!!!

So U75..This Open cup says 'est 1914'. That needs some explanation????

ü75 said...

Nope. Been running since 1914.

/No html for you. Cut and paste only.

Keith said...

Yeh- it's a continuation of the US Challenge Cup, per wikipedia .

No, really, here's the link.

Bigus Dickus said...

I read that first...I missed out on a second installment of JM didn't i?