Yesterday, D.C. United had its most important win of the 2011 season. Pitted against the rival Philadelphia Union , United was victorious in a coin flip to host the first qualifying round of the U.S. Open Cup.
According to Steve Goff of the Washington Post , this match is likely to be held April 5 or 6 at the Maryland Soccer Plex. The winner of the DCU-PU matchup will then host the New England Revolution later in the month.
This news helps ensure that D.C.’s streak of Open Cup games played at home remains intact. The team hasn’t played a road game in the annual tournament since 2007, when they lost to the Harrisburg City Islanders at Hempfield High. I bring this up again only because I really like typing Hempfield High.
What is Hempfield High?
(A) the location of D.C. United’s USOC loss to the Harrisburg City Islanders in 2007
(B) a condition brought upon by excessive marijuana usage ("I got that hemp-field high, brah")
Relative to other MLS teams, the United organization has rated the Open Cup pretty high on its priority list lately. I expect that to continue. Last year, it was because it was the team’s only legitimate chance at securing hardware. This year, it will be because we have the depth to compete. United has one of the deepest teams in the Eastern Conference (especially in midfield). If we can get past the Union in the first qualifying round as our young team continues to gel, D.C. has a good chance of rolling to the semifinals once again.