Union match reports / US Open Cup

Match Report: Philadelphia Union 2-1 New York Cosmos

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

For the second straight week, Philadelphia Union needed extra time to secure a US Open Cup victory, this time defeating the New York Cosmos 2-1 in a hotly contested Tuesday night match at PPL Park.

Sebastien Le Toux scored his second goal of the match from the penalty spot in the 113th minute to secure the victory. With the goal, his 13th in US Open Cup play, Le Toux joins David Bulow, Johnny Menyongar, and Jaime Moreno at the top of the US Open Cup goalscorers list in the modern pro era.

“It was good,” Le Toux said of the penalty kick goal. “I was very confident, so I’m glad it went in. I’m just glad we won tonight.”

Le Toux’s scored his first goal of the night in the 56th minute, tapping in an Andrew Wenger cross from close range only moments after Alessandro Noselli opened the scoring for the Cosmos.

“I like this competition,” said Le Toux. “It is fun. I was just talking about it with Andrew [Wenger], he already scored two, so he should score again and maybe become the best scorer of this competition. He came to me and said we are now tied, so it’s good competition between us too. We have continuity and are now three games away from the final, it would be great to get the trophy this year.”

First Half

Jim Curtin made one change to the team that outlasted Harrisburg City Islanders last Tuesday, with Amobi Okugo replacing Michael Lahoud as a second holding midfielder alongside Brian Carroll.

The Cosmos started brightly with Mads Stokkelien latching onto a ball in the Union box in just the 3rd minute. Alessandro Noselli was arriving on a late run, but the ball ran under the striker’s foot to be cleared away by the Union.

Philadelphia would have an early chance of their own in the 10th minute when a Cristian Maidana corner kick was flicked on by Okugo at the near post before being guided over the crossbar by Sebastien Le Toux at the far post.

New York would threaten on a set piece of their own on 18 minutes when Roversio was able to latch on to a long, looping corner, but his far post header glanced just wide of Andre Blake’s goal.

The best chance of the first half would fall to Andrew Wenger in the 24th minute. Cosmos’ center backs Roversio and Carlos Mendes made a mess of a long ball over the top, and it fell to Wenger with only goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer to beat. But the Union No. 9 flubbed his shot, and it flew wide left of goal.

In the 41st minute, Wenger did well to pick out Maidana on the left side of the Cosmos’ box. The Argentine’s low shot was beaten away by Maurer but fell straight into the path of Okugo at the top of the box. But Okugo’s left-footed shot was deflected and rolled harmlessly wide of the New York goal for a Union corner.

The Union would get one more chance before the end of the half, with center back Maurice Edu doing well to win the ball 40 yards from New York’s goal. Edu played a quick one-two pass with Danny Cruz on the edge of the Cosmos’ area, but his low cross was punched away by Maurer.

Second Half

The Union started the second half on the front foot and had a chance within a minute of the restart. A cross from Danny Cruz on the right found its way to Wenger 7 yards from the New York goal. But with a chance to turn and shoot, the big striker tried to lay the ball off to Sebastien Le Toux and the move was cut out.

Next up would be Maidana with a chance after a Sheanon Williams long throw was only half cleared. But the midfielder’s powerful header was well saved by Mauer.

It would be New York that finally opened the scoring in the 56th minute. Brian Carroll was unable to win a 50-50 challenge with Danny Szetela 30 yards from the Union goal. Szetela was able to settle the ball and pick out a nice diagonal pass behind Fabinho to Noselli, who calmly flipped the ball over the onrushing Andre Blake.

The Comos’ lead would be short-lived, with the Union answering back just a minute later. Andrew Wenger did well to beat two New York defenders on the right side and fire in a low cross. Maurer was late coming for the ball, and it skidded by him for Le Toux to tap in from six yards.

Wenger would have another chance to get in on the scoring himself in the 57th minute. Fabinho found acres of space down the left side and fired in a great cross, but Wenger could only head wide of Maurer’s goal from close range.

The last chance for a Union winner in normal time came when Fabinho lofted a cross to New York’s back post that was headed down by substitute Leo Fernandes into the path of Okugo. When it seemed that the Union midfielder must score, a last second challenge from a Cosmos’ defender deflected the shot behind for a corner.

Extra time

New York would have a huge shout for a penalty in the first period of extra time. Mads Stokkelien appeared to be barged into from behind by Edu as the two chased a bouncing ball into the Union box, but referee Ismail Elfath waved to play on.

In a match where it never seemed that Elfath had complete control, the wheels completely came off in extra time. It started when New York Cosmos’ coach Carlos Llomosa was given his marching orders in the 105th minute, shortly after the no call on the penalty kick.

Next in the book would be New York’s Alessandro Noselli, who took out Andre Blake’s leg as the Union goalkeeper tried to punt the ball, earning a yellow card. The foul drew a strong reaction from the Union, with Sheanon Williams chasing  Noselli to give him a shove in the back.

In the 113th minute, Cosmos substitute center back Jimmy Ockford was called for what would be a crucial penalty kick. When Williams launched a throw in into the box, Ockford simply wrestled Edu to the turf. Though a number of calls seemed to go against the Cosmos on the night, the penalty was straightforward and the correct call.

Le Toux stepped up to take the kick and put a perfect shot into the lower left corner beyond the outstretched Maurer. Maurer was given a yellow card for dissent before the kick was taken, and New York assistant coach Alecko Eskandarian was sent to the locker room right after.

The match got completely out of hand in the 118th minute when Antoine Hoppenot tried to hold the ball in the corner to kill time, only to be fouled by the Cosmos’ Ayoze. Ayoze appeared to kick out at the ball and hit Hoppenot as he laid on the pitch, drawing a strong reaction from both the Union striker and substitute Michael Lahoud, who was only the pitch for about a minute before the melee. Lahoud and Ayoze almost came to punches before being separated, and both would be red-carded, as would New York’s Jimmy Ockford, who joined the coming together late.

Union fans had their hearts in their mouths when Andre Blake fumbled a late New York shot from distance, but the ensuing corner came to nothing and Philadelphia would hold on for the 2-1 win.

“This club needs a trophy, and now we’re three wins away from a trophy, which is a big thing,” said interim head coach Jim Curtin after the game. “Now we’ll have a home game next game against either New England or Rochester, it’s a great advantage, and huge opportunity. Three wins in a row and you’re a champion. There are two trophies in this country that you can win and want to lift the Open Cup.”

The Union will face the winner of Wednesday night’s Rhinos-Revolution match at PPL Park in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup on July 8.

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Raymon Gaddis, Maurice Edu, Sheanon Williams, Fabinho, Danny Cruz (Leo Fernandes 60′), Amobi Okugo, Brian Carroll, Cristian Maidana (Michael Lahoud 115′), Sebastien Le Toux, Andrew Wenger (Antoine Hoppenot 77′)

New York Cosmos
Jimmy Maurer, Ayoze, Carlos Mendes, Hunter Freeman, Roversio (Jimmy Ockford 103′), Daniel Szetela, Hagop Chirishian (Jemal Johnson 60′), Joseph Nane (Dane Murphy 38′), Mads Stokkelien, Alessandro Noselli, Sebastian Guenzatti

Scoring Summary
NYC: 56’ Noselli (Szetela)
PHI: 57’ Le Toux (Wenger)
PHI: 113’ Le Toux (penalty kick)

Disciplinary Summary
PHI: 21’ Carroll (caution)
PHI: 29’ Cruz (caution)
PHI: 67’ Fabinho (caution)
NYC: 111’ Noselli (caution)
NYC: 113’ Maurer (caution)
NYC: 118’ Ayoze (ejection)
PHI: 118’ Lahoud (ejection)
NYC: 119′ Ockford (ejection)

Match stats (PHI / NYC)
Shots: 9 / 2
Shots on Target: 4 / 1
Corners: 12 / 12
Fouls: 15 / 5

Attendance: 3,846


  1. Looking forward to another 120 minutes of Union football.

    (Please don’t make me pay for this round either.)

  2. I can safely say that was the worst game I have witnessed by professional teams ever. Maybe it is due to me watching the World Cup but that was awful

    • Agreed

    • was about to say the same exact thing

    • funny cause I thought the Union looked quite a bit better than last week.
      I think the World Cup comment is right on. To me its the same as spending all winter watching the european game and then MLS begins in March and you see a bunch of warts where their once was fair skin.

    • I thought the Union were a bit better – of course better than terrible is just not terrible – but everything for me was overshadowed by the Cosmos’ dirty play and whining. The ref was awful, no argument there, but NY seemed to get to caught up in arguing and complaining and it hurt the match.

  3. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    Didn’t watch the game but from the secription it sounds like Wegner missed a ALOT of chances….. good thing he is a local boy……

  4. That was among the most bizarre games I’ve seen there. It was really hard to watch. There should have been even less men on the field at the end

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    Let’s hope today’s New England – Rochester game goes 120 minutes so New England is tired come Saturday night.

  6. Southside Johnny says:

    Lots of positives:
    Wenger and Le2 are having fun and they sustained no injuries from patting themselves on the back.
    I didn’t go tp the match and had to watch on my ipad.
    I am now able to laugh at this crap instead of cry.
    There are World Cup matches to watch.
    The season is half over.
    Antoine shows much promise for a career as a rodeo clown.
    Nobody was bitten.

  7. I’ve been lucky enough to attend both of the games this past 2 weeks. I mean, c’mon – free games. There should be more than 2000 fans in the stands. It’s embarrassing. You read a story about 11,000 people in Carolina, but we can’t even get 5k in Philadelphia.

    So, we all know the H’burg game was a shit-show. Well, last night was more like a bad case of diarrhea.

    It’s obvious that no one on the team, other than LeToux, has cared about these games. I really hope that new coach comes soon, because Curtin hasn’t instilled a single thing into this team. Lazy, sloppy play.

    Leo Fernandes – awful. He has regressed so much since the early games of the year, it’s almost shocking. Next, I actually think its time for Hoppenot to sing his swan song. Completely out of touch with Seba all night after coming on. As was mentioned last night on Twitter, some of the Cosmos players deserve to be on the U more than our roster. And Edu? We’re now paying $600k for a CB that’s about as into the game as my dog.

    And don’t even get me started on Brian Carroll. Jesus. Just terminate his contract already. He can’t even hang w/ the play anymore. Waving his legs in all directions, his typical boring back passes…I just can’t handle seeing a captain’s armband on this guy anymore. It’s an insult to the team and the fans.

    It’s obvious we play down to our competition, but I’m scared for Saturday getting back in real league games again.

    On the positive – Blake is going to be good. Yes, he’s making some young mistakes (the Cosmos goal) – and the bobble at the end, but I really like his attitude and instinct.

    So, LeToux was Star #1, and Blake #2. There is no Star #3.

    • Scottymac says:

      I thought, and I don’t say this often, Fabinho played well. That cross may have been his best all year, if Wenger had any soccerball sense he heads it down for a goal. Instead he decides to use the top of his head and it’s in fourth row of 117.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Still the problem remains, Fabinho definitely should have been sent off as he committed at least 4 fouls, 2 of a troublingly aggressive variety after being carded. He completely lost his man on the goal and defended extremely poorly.
        He did have that one nice cross though.

  8. If Nogueira can’t play Saturday we are screwed. He didn’t practice Monday either…

  9. The Union should play in the same league as the Cosmos; they just are not MLS quality. Quite sad…

    • Was thinking the same thing as I was sitting there last night.

      While it wasn’t a great match technically, the emotion and drama of it was pretty fun to watch.

  10. Well at least the Union made that extra $200 or so selling away team gear at a home game….

  11. First a win is a win and the Union need that feeling and there were was no biting. Watching World Cup soccer reminds me just how much I love the sport. It also points out just how below the bar a lot of the Union players are even by MLS standards. Granted Noguiera and Casey top a list of injuries but watching the Union fumble with the ball for 90 minutes shows just how much this team needs talent and fundamentally skill players. I hope the search is still on for a top level manager and better talent. I also hope that Sakeiwicz is working hard to try and keep Noguiera, Maidana, and Edu!

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Yeah I kind of agree that the level of play displayed by the Union in the last 2 weeks is not emblematic of the MLS level of play. The Union are clearly in the bottom tier of this league, and their record shows it. The U have sucked and have luckily gotten through the past 2 games. Hey, whatever… DC won this last year and they were god awful so maybe that’s the trick to winning this thing.
      Curtain has shown me nothing, except that he watched very closely as Hack made his selections… because they are basically mirror images of each other.
      Maidana and LeToux both looked solid and interested. Cruz, Hopp, Carroll, do not belong on this, or any, team. Edu looked like he was hanging out and not enjoying his time at CB whatsoever.

      • Ok ya had to bring up C-H-C(LOL)! Honestly I think it’s all been said. It’s my hope that they get no more playing time (starting or otherwise) once the team gets healthy. C-H-C just don’t have the skill this team needs to compete in MLS. They take up roster spots and the fact that they play puts a big spot light on what is lacking on the coaching staff(interim or otherwise). Of course the last 2 cup games were not about skill. It was nice of our “skilled” players to finally show up and put us out of our misery. I don’t hold out much hope that Curtin will do a whole lot. We’ll see what Sakeiwicz does. Hopefully we’ll have a manager who will do some house cleaning starting with C-H-C and some of the posers on this team. For now I’m concentrating on the USA match.

      • I took my son last night, because my daughter was down the shore with her BFF. My son is just starting to get into watching soccer – he’s always loved playing, but found it boring to watch.
        He’s heard us talk about Cruz, so right at the start I pointed and said, “Number 44 is Danny Cruz. His job is to run in a straight line really fast then fall down.” My son laughed.
        A few moments later, Cruz made a run and sent in a blind cross to nobody. My son said, “Hey! He didn’t fall down!” Not 30 seconds later… FLOP! On the ground writhing in agony.
        Blake has looked OK – but not better than MacMath, to be honest. Le Toux and Wenger seem to be working decently together, so I’d like to see that continue in NE on Saturday. Edu has looked flatly uninterested the two games he’s played at CB.
        And the Union were lucky not to get a red before Lahoud was sent off; I thought the ref was pretty bad, both ways. The Cosmos got away with a lot, but so did the Union. And that, I think, is why things got so chippy at the end.

  12. After the game was over while walking to the car we were saying how the Union needed these wins. During the car ride we all realized it doesn’t matter, they are BAD! Wenger can NOT score. Hoppenot was by far the worst forward on the field, and probably the worst forward performance ever for the union. Carroll should be cut because he offers nothing, he’s just a body. Danny Cruz clearly has no skill, because if your whole plan is to flop on the cosmos you suck, and Fabinho should just get a yellow card everytime he starts a game and save us the annoyance. Please get a new manager immediately to weed this mess out and fix it and give you lots of time to get your targets.

    • The best thing for you is to find a new team. Tired of your negative views. This game was mis-handled by the officials and the really bad Cosmo coaching.

      • So you think that was a worthy performance? Cosmos coaching was at fault? Solely on the refs? We need to lose some players. Sorry the emperor is wearing no clothes.

      • No doubt we need many changes in our players. Quality is suspect and difficult. Are you a season ticket holder? If not then get on board and support the team. Enough said.

      • Not only am I a season ticket holder, but a founding member and MLS season pass purchaser. I had my company buy season tickets to give out. I think I’ve missed maybe 3 games in the 5 years. I always cheer my head off at games. I chose this blog to rant about misgivings and poor play. Don’t take it personal. When they turn it around with new personnel we’ll all be happy.

      • True and without a doubt. I am also the same as you and a 5 year season ticket holder.

  13. Blake’s hair though. That thing is ridiculous.

  14. One more comment a bit off topic. I sat in front of 2 couples and the woman talked the whole game about, in no particular order, weddings, miscarriages, wedding planning, delivery rooms, mother in-laws, friends with miscarriages, vegans, and gluten free things. If your wives clearly don’t want to be at a game, DON’T bring them. Grow a pair and tell your wives to stay home so they don’t annoy the hell out of everyone else there. My wife comes to games often so I’m not saying everyone leave your significant other home and it can’t be enjoyed by couples. Also I’d be lying if I said this was the only time something like this occurred in various sections I’ve sat at. Anyone else dealt with this?

  15. The Black Hand says:

    The club…ahh, forget it!

  16. Andy Muenz says:

    Thought I heard someone yell out “WSSM” last night. I think it was after the Cosmos goal. Anyone near section 127?

  17. Similar “brawl” issue at the Rapids game… maybe this kind of ridiculous behavior is normal in NASL?!


    • i feel like the later stage open cup games usually have a lot of ejections and violence regardless of which league the team comes from. i remember a couple years ago it was the final or semi final when san jose played seattle there were reports of a locker room brawl that happened afterward that even included the coaches

  18. damn, in case anyone was wondering why lahoud looked like he truly wanted to hit someone this photo explains why https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bq_rYm_CMAEbEZo.jpg

  19. SoB Chris says:

    You lose playing attractive soccer and everyone says wins are the only thing that matters. Now you win playing ugly soccer and the team should be demoted. I’m beginning to think Philly fans will never be satisfied.

    • Agreed. This was without Nogueira and Casey… and while adjusting to Curtin. Give them some credit…

    • The Black Hand says:

      Winning ugly against equal- leveled clubs is one thing. This has been a case of our club getting beat by lower-division clubs, in every area but the scoreboard.
      Saying that we played an attractive brand of football is a bit of a stretch.
      Win or lose; I would like the club to show signs of improvement. Our year 1 club would beat our current club. That’s a problem.

  20. Tracy Kuntzler says:

    The win feels good. Who cares that we played down to the level of our opponents. WE WON THE GAME. Be happy. It won’t kill you!

  21. What’s this talk of free tickets? Lowest I could find were $10 (essentially free). Was all set to go until I weighed in parking at $15.

    • the tickets were free and the parking was $5 to season ticket holders who went to the open cup game last week

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