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Union win 2-1 on Hoppenot OT goal

Photo: Earl Gardner

Antoine Hoppenot scored in overtime to lead Philadelphia Union to a 2-1 road win Tuesday over D.C. United in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.

Union midfielder Freddy Adu collected the ball in the second minute of overtime, broke into space just past midfield, and found a cutting Hoppenot, who slotted the ball in past United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

The Union then held United scoreless for a chippy final 28 minutes, during which Union center back Carlos Valdes and United center back Brandon McDonald were sent off after a tussle in the penalty area.

“We played a pretty good game,” Union manager Peter Nowak said. “We created a lot of chances. I think we deserved to win.”

The two red cards were typical of a fierce match before 3,276 fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md. Referee Jose Carlos Rivero handed out seven cards, all but two after halftime, when the game occasionally devolved into something approximating a wrestling match. United manager Ben Olsen criticized the cup game’s officials for losing control of what he called a “circus.”

“It just escalated,” Olsen said. “(The officials) can’t handle it. It’s just the way it is. It’s just the way it always is.”

First half

United came into the game having won four straight and played like it early, controlling the tempo in the game’s first minutes as they came out in a 4-4-2 diamond. The Union answered with a 4-3-3, with Adu and Josue Martinez on the wings, Michael Farfan at the top of a midfield triangle, and Brian Carroll and Michael Lahoud in holding roles.

United immediately tested Union right back Raymon Gaddis, who hadn’t played since leaving the Toronto game on May 26 due to illness. United left midfielder Nick DeLeon beat Gaddis to lofted passes down the sideline in the second, sixth and tenth minutes, but each time, Gaddis and right center back Amobi Okugo recovered to cut off the attack. United attempted to exploit the hole again in the 12th minute, with Gaddis far up field, but Okugo collected the ball to finally put an end to this United strategy.

The game’s first good chance came in the 14th minute, after McDonald fouled Michael Farfan to set up a Union free kick from 30 yards. Valdes then blasted a line drive on goal. Hamid stopped it but spilled the ball to Josue Martinez. He then fired a shot that Daniel Woolard cleared off the line, and Gabriel Farfan blasted the rebound over the crossbar.

United got their own chance in the 18th minute, when Andy Najar collected a through ball that put him one-on-one with Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath, who had donned protective headgear in his first game back from a concussion. Michael Farfan tracked back, however, and cut off Najar to stop the attack.

In the 20th minute, fans roared their disapproval after Adu took a ball from United striker Hamdi Salihi so physically that fans could hear the physical contact 15 rows up from the field. Four minutes later, Adu split two defenders while dribbling toward the United penalty area and went down in the box. United fans booed what they saw as a dive. No foul was called.

The next good chance on goal came in the 33rd minute. Martinez beat United right back Robbie Russell down the left wing and sent a low cross to an open Lionard Pajoy in the penalty area. Pajoy had a free look, but he sliced his shot wide.

United didn’t get their first shot on goal till the 44th minute, when MacMath easily stopped a direct shot from Josh Wolff.

A minute ilater, Union midfielder Brian Carroll scored the night’s first goal. He took a loose ball and fired a quick shot that was deflected by a United defender, wrong-footing Hamid as it careened into the net.

But United answered immediately. Najar sent in a cross from the right that DeLeon headed across goal to Josh Wolff. Wolf netted the header at point blank range to send the teams into halftime tied at 1-1.

Second half

The second half opened into a back and forth affair, dominated by rough play and Michael Farfan’s vision and temper.

In the 50th minute, Farfan somehow saw a passing lane between several United defenders and sent a low pass on the ground to Pajoy near the 18. Pajoy muffed it, however, and Adu recovered the ball only to lose it seconds later. This would be a pattern that would repeat for the next 30 minutes, with Farfan repeatedly seeing narrow passing lanes and sending dangerous balls through them, only for the recipients of those passes to do little with the product of Farfan’s vision.

Meanwhile, Farfan was battling United midfielder Perry Kitchen, who marked the Union playmaker most of the night. Farfan drew a yellow card after he and Kitchen fought for a ball in the 82nd minute. Less than a minute later, Farfan was called for another foul and followed it up by giving a hard two-handed shove to Kitchen. Farfan was lucky to walk away without a second card.

The 79th minute substitution of Antoine Hoppenot for Lahoud drastically changed the game. Adu slid back to the top of the midfield triangle. Pajoy moved to right wing, Hoffman to the center, and Hoppenot to left wing. Michael Farfan dropped back to holding midfield, where he continued to direct the game as a deep-lying playmaker.

“I had a bit of time on the ball,” Farfan said. “I was trying to look for these spaces.”

Hoppenot then proceeded to run into those spaces opening on the right side of United’s defense.

“They were tired,” Hoppenot said. “They’d been playing for 80 minutes.”

Farfan first found Hoppenot in the 85th minute with a long through ball down the left wing, but Hoppenot lost the ball.

In the 90th minute, Hoffman had Hoppenot for a two-on-one in on goal, but Hoffman’s pass was cut off by a United defender. A questionable offside call against Hoppenot followed.

Farfan kept looking, and he was eventually rewarded. He sent a long, low through ball toward goal as Hoppenot cut in behind the United defense. Hoppenot latched onto the ball with a sliding shot from point blank range. Hamid was just as good, however, and his diving save would be enough to send the two teams into overtime.


Two minutes into extra time, Hoppenot and Adu sealed the match with Hoppenot’s winner from Adu’s pass.

“Credit to (Adu),” Hoppenot said after the game. “He really made it easy for me.”

For good measure, Hoppenot sent United off with one more near-goal in the 104th minute. He received a pass from Pajoy, controlled it, stepped to his right, and then blasted a shot from 20 yards off the crossbar. He was subbed out between the overtime periods in favor of Kai Herdling.

The Union will face the Harrisburg City Islanders in the quarterfinals on June 26 at PPL Park. Harrisburg defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-1 on Tuesday.


Philadelphia Union

Zac MacMath, Raymon Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan, Michael Lahoud (Antoine Hoppenot ’79, Kai Herdling ‘105), Brian Carroll, Michael Farfan, Freddy Adu, Lionard Pajoy, Josue Martinez (Chandler Hoffman ’70)

D.C. United

Bill Hamid, Robbie Russell, Brandon McDonald, Emiliano Dudar, Daniel Woolard, Andy Najar, Branko Boskovic (Marcelo Saragosa ’90), Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon (Lewis Neal ’80), Hamdi Salihi, Josh Wolff (Maicon Santos ’64)

Scoring summary

46 – PHI: Brian Carroll

46 – DC: Josh Wolff (Nick DeLeon)

93 – PHI: Antoine Hoppenot (Freddy Adu)

Disciplinary summary

17 – DC: Brandon McDonald (caution)

27 – DC: Emiliano Dudar (caution)

55 – PHI: Carlos Valdes (caution)

64 – PHI: Josue Martinez (caution)

82 – PHI: Michael Farfan (caution)

112 – DC: Brandon McDonald (ejection)

113 – PHI: Carlos Valdes (ejection)


  1. So. Were the Union any better? Any improvement whatsoever? Sounds kinda like they Union threw stuff against the wall and it eventually stuck this time.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      The Union looked good. I’ll go more into it in the analysis piece tomorrow, but Marfan, Okugo, and Hoppenot all had great games. Martinez had some good moments too. MacMath wasn’t challenged often, but he had a great save late in the game (that apparently I forgot to mention while writing after midnight; sorry about that). Garfan, Valdes and Carroll were solid. Adu and Pajoy, not so much. Gaddis had an eventful game. Probably still sick. Lahoud is getting there. No Keon Daniel, Jack McInerney or Danny Mwanga in the 18.

  2. James 4-3-3 says:

    I can’t believe what they’ve done to jack. Its even more disgusting when a waste of space like pajoy owns a spot in the starting lineup.

    • I know, what happened to him? Did he piss off Nowak in some way?

      • Peter Nowak says:

        He has a hamstring injury. It is fitness.
        Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Jack Mac is not there yet. For all of his madman sprinting to and fro, he has very little effect (if any) on the pitch. His positioning is solid, sometimes, but he simply does not have the intelligence on the ball. I’m not saying that Pajoy does, but I do feel that Lionard is a better start than Jack Mac. Pajoy, at least, has size and some finishing ability. I feel that Jack Mac is best used as a VERY late game sub. His speed can be used to take advantage of tired defenders. Aside from that, I feel like he needs a lot of development, before he is considered in our XI. Hoppenot and Martinez are better options, in my humble opinion

      • Then we need to loan Jack out to Harrisburg. How is he going to get there without getting games in?

        The Reserves league is definitely nice to have, but it’s inadequate to solely rely on that to get a younger guy, whom you’ve made a substantial investment in, the experience he needs to develop.

      • James "4-3-3" Forever says:

        You are not necessarily wrong Hand, but in that case I am not sure how a late second round pick with only a handful of reserve league appearances can somehow supplant Jack in the pecking order. I mean did you even see him play before last night? Seems like a reach.
        Same thing with Mwanga too. Personally this makes even LESS sense then anything else they have done. Where else who an unknown reserve player at a position the team is deep at jump up the pecking order past 2 former top ten draft picks who actually played in the MLS and actually scored goals in the mls?

  3. I was at the game and we looked good. Best team game of the season. Lahoud was horrible again and the referee was worse than Geiger! DC got every call. Glad the U were able to beat DC and the ref.

  4. See what happens when we give our young strikers some playing time?
    First Martinez, now Hoppenot. We have a very good chase of making it past Harrisburg, and from there, who knows?

  5. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    Also, sounds like MacMath came up big a few times. The only question I have with him anymore is how long we can keep him before Europe comes calling.

  6. Philly Cheese says:

    Sounds like good energy and enthusiasm in a team effort. Wonder why Pajoy is still considered the “rock” in the center when it doesn’t sound like he has touches or finishing ability. Now the question is whether Nowak will mess with the hope of the future by loaning Hoffman and Hoppenot to,the City Islanders for the quarter finals, like he did earlier this year.. Just kidding………I think….he wouldn’t do that…..would he?

  7. does Michael Lahoud = Pajoy 2.0? No quality, but guaranteed minutes? yuck.

  8. So what happens if, God forbid, we win the Cup but are at the bottom of the table when we do it?

    That probably means Nowak stays huh?

  9. Didn’t Hoffman hit the post as well in ET? Seems like Hoffman and Hoppenot made things happen, contrary to some others (who keep on starting) …

    • Dan Walsh says:

      I believe it was Hoppenot. Pretty nasty shot too. Have to check my notes when I get home. But one of them did. (I’ll update the above report to reflect this once I doublecheck my notes.)

  10. Mike Servedio says:

    Anyone else catch that Hoppenot was subbed out at the start of the second extra time? I have no issue with a midfielder replacing a striker with a 2-1 lead, but why would you not take out Pajoy? He had been “running” for the whole match, when Hoppenot only came on in the 79th minute.

    It would even make a little sense if Pajoy was good as a lone striker. But I don’t think we’ve seen enough of him holding the ball up in that role this season.

    • that’s Nowak for you

    • Dan Walsh says:

      I asked Hoppenot about this after the game. Admittedly, it threw him for a bit of a loop when I did. He mentioned he was a bit gassed, and Herdling plays a more possession-oriented role than he does. It looked like the Union basically wanted to kill the clock. I didn’t ask Nowak this. Probably should have.

    • As much as I agree that Pajoy should have come out in the 8th minute of the game, I can tell you that it was a blessing in disguise that he was in there for the full 120. Without Valdes we were seriously lacking in the air at the back and he got his head on at least 3 or 4 balls that would have been DC’s otherwise. He also seemed to get better not eh ball the more exhausted he became. Maybe he needs to run a half marathon before each game…

      I must note that I am not a Pajoy fan but I feel he did prove some worth last night late in the match.

      • Mike Servedio says:

        Fair enough. I didn’t see the game obviously, but looking at the box score, it did seem odd to see a sub get replaced.
        It’s also amazing to me that Pajoy doesn’t get subbed more often. He must have a stipulation in his contract that allows him to decide if he wants to come off..

      • McMohansky says:

        That’s a good point and one most of us ignore when bashing on Pajoy. I’ve noticed the last few games he has been more involved in clearing lofted balls at the end of games.
        That defensive service from your lone striker is more necessary when you play with one CB I suppose.

  11. -nickt.- says:

    mwanga to timbers.

  12. Mwanga to Portland for Perlaza. Another Nowak casualty?

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