Here are my previews and predictions for the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals.
Seattle Sounders vs. Chivas USA Preview
The road has been kinder this year to Chivas USA. They have a winning record on the road and a losing record at home.
At home, they sit 3-6-2 (three wins, six losses, two ties), counting their one home win in US Open Cup 2012. Their overall record away, counting US Open Cup, which includes two additional wins, is 5-1-3.
Does this mean that Chivas has a shot at a slumping Seattle squad? No, probably not.
Though Seattle may not have been at their best over the last few weeks, it shouldn’t matter, they tend to wake up in time for competition in the US Open.
In the late-night match on Wednesday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington, the Seattle Sounders as the home team play Chivas USA. The match can be viewed by checking thecup.us for the live stream.
The Sounders should rise to the occasion. They want to keep their undefeated streak going.
Seattle is going for a fourth consecutive championship. They still have not lost a US Open Cup match since joining MLS.
Seattle fans know winning this title also gives a direct link to Champions League and the possibility to advance to the FIFA Club World Cup. Sounders players will keep the tradition alive.
Prediction: Sounders 2, Chivas 1
Philadelphia Union vs. Sporting KC Preview
In the earlier match on Wednesday, set for PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, Sporting KC comes to town to take on the hometown Philly Union. It is a similar match up to the other semifinal in that a team with a good record takes on a team with a not so good record.
Both Seattle and Sporting KC are doing well this season in their respective conferences. Philadelphia and Chivas are both struggling in theirs.
Sporting sits with one of this year’s best records and some of the most exciting players in the league. It’s hard to pick against them.
They have one other advantage going into this match. If they beat the Union, they host the championship in their home stadium, LiveStrong Sporting Park. It would be a huge gift for fans.
Prediction: Sporting KC 2, Philly Union 1
The two favorites should win in typical soccer fashion. If all goes as planned, the Final is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, August 8th.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com