West Chester United

West Chester United advance in the U. S. Open Cup

Photo courtesy of U.S. Soccer

Injury sub and West Chester University division 2 finalist Sami Phillips hit the decisive penalty kick after extra time in Baltimore Tuesday night to send the road warriors of West Chester United Soccer Club on to the second round of the Lamar Hunt U. S. Open Cup with a 1(6) – 1(5) win over F. C. Baltimore Christos.

Troy Amspacher scored in the game’s very first minute on an assist from Andreas Bartosinski to the far post. Amspacher’s header in turn crossed back to his far post, and the Baltimore keeper had no chance.

FCBC equalized in the 56th minute on a long low drive from center back Jake Dengler that took a goalkeeper-freezing deflection into the net.

West Chester seemed better able to possess and work the ball on the night, getting away from that style periodically to go direct. Their hosts seemed dependent of direct counterattacking play without a meaningful alternative approach.

In the shootout, both sides matched failures twice before Phillips, West Chester’s eighth shooter, scored and his counterpart from Baltimore then blasted it high over the bar.

Head coach Blaise Santangelo’s side will now play their sixth consecutive away match in both Open Cup qualifying and the tournament proper. They will go to Birmingham, Alabama to play USLC expansion side Birmingham Legion FC on Wednesday, May 15.

Santangelo stated prior to Tuesday’s result that WCUSC has raised over $8,000 to cover travel expenses during this year’s Men’s Elite Program’s Open Cup effort so far. The fact illustrates beautifully why the English FA Cup tradition is that the professional sides travel away to the lower division sides in England. They can afford it.

In its last Open Cup home match, a second-round loss to Harrisburg City Islanders in 2017, West Chester drew 2,800 fans to its home field next to the Chester County Government Services building at Westtown Road and US 202 expressway just outside of West Chester.

Two Points:

F. C. Baltimore Christos is the first side to score against the road warriors during this year’s five match sequence.

Of concern to Santangelo will be the injury status of the various starters whom he was forced to sub off because of injury. Bad Charlie horses are amendable to recovery. Sprained ankles are necessarily less so.

West Chester’s Lineup: (4-2-3-1) ; Pierre Gardan; Conor Osborne, Peter Nolan, Enda O’Neill, Sam Bollinger; Michael Gonzalez ©, Andreas Bartosinski; Troy Amspacher, Chad Poarch, Jordan Poarch; Chas Wilson. Substitutes appearing: Kyle Hoops, Sami Phelps, AJ Bishop, Alex Kades. Unused substitutes: Brian Erlich; Alex Martyn, Kyle Martyn, Mark Adarkwa.

Baltimore: Starters: Bayers; Bender, Brown, Dengler, Harris, Marconi, Mason, Mesias, Rodriguez, Saunderson, Sousa. Bench: Neidermeier, Cornish, Gielen, Gumbs, Nichols, Pulliam, Richardson.

2 Comments

  1. good stuff. Thanks for the report!

    • Tim Jones says:

      How this amateur side manages to play such quality soccer and to have the conditioning to endure is a credit to all elements of the organization.

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