Union

Union surging into U.S. Open Cup final, 'deserve to be' the champs

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Union surging into U.S. Open Cup final, 'deserve to be' the champs

CHESTER, Pa. — With back-to-back wins over two of the league’s hottest teams, the Union are heading into their third U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday with the wind at their back.

“This group deserves to be champion,” boasted Fabinho, who captained the Union’s largely reserve squad on Sunday at Talen Energy Stadium. “We know how hard we work every day, everybody. We deserve to be champion on Wednesday and we are ready for this game.”

The confidence was palpable following a 2-0 win over Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City on Sunday. Saving the legs of almost all consistent starters, and with goalkeeper Andre Blake falling ill just before kickoff, the Union went with a largely untested group and came out with the victory, thanks to a pair of second-half goals from Jay Simpson.

Other than Simpson and Fabinho, the list of Union starters included Oliver Mbaizo, making his MLS debut, Derrick Jones, Warren Creavalle and John McCarthy.

“We’re on a good run of form at the moment,” said Simpson, who made his first start of the season on Sunday and also contributed to the Union’s midweek win in Seattle against the Sounders. “I’m sure a lot of people didn’t even fancy us to get a result today with our starters missing out on the game because of the Open Cup. We beat some big sides.”

With one loss in their last eight matches, the Union are surging into the title game. Wednesday's match against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium will mark the third time the Union have appeared in the Open Cup championship since 2014. They’ve lost the other two - a fact fresh in the mind of Fabinho, who noted that the club's success of late has changed the dynamic.

“I feel different this year,” he said. “I don’t know why, I can’t say how or why, but I feel different. I feel like we’ll be the champions, you know what I mean. I know the game will be very tough, I know Houston has a good team.”

More importantly, the past struggles have given the confident Union valuable perspective.

“We have guys who work here every day, some guys come here at 5 AM to work for us, help us,” Fabinho said. “The fans are here every weekend, the staff, we have a lot of people behind us. When we go for this game, we have to play like it’s the last game of our lives. It’s important for us, but it’s important for many people behind us.”

Cory Burke, Andre Blake and Alejandro Bedoya lead Union over Impact

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USA Today Images/Bill Streicher

Cory Burke, Andre Blake and Alejandro Bedoya lead Union over Impact

BOX SCORE 

Cory Burke and Jamiro Monteiro each scored to help the Philadelphia beat the Montreal Impact 3-0 on Saturday for the Union's fourth win in their last five games.

Burke stole a lazy pass near midfield and then took a few dribbles before blasting a roller from outside the area just inside the far post to give Philadelphia (4-3-1) a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.

Monteiro, a 25-year old on loan from FC Metz through June, converted from the spot in the 45th for his first MLS goal after Jack Elliott drew a foul conceded by Zakaria Diallo.

Alejandro Bedoya tapped in an empty-netter to cap the scoring 57th minute.

Montreal (3-3-2) had its three-game unbeaten streak snapped and conceded a goal for the first time since a 7-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City on March 30.

Philadelphia's Kai Wagner was shown a straight red card, after video review, in the 90th minute.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores twice as Union lose to LA Galaxy

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USA Today Images/Jayne Kamin-Oncea

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores twice as Union lose to LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. — Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice in the first half and the LA Galaxy beat the Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.

Ibrahimovic opened the scoring with a header in the 27th minute for the Galaxy (5-1-0). He drew a penalty five minutes later and converted it into the left corner in the 36th minute. The Swedish forward has six goals this season and 28 in 31 MLS appearances.

Philadelphia went down a man in the 76th minute when Auston Trusty was shown a red card for unsporting behavior.

The Union's Marco Fabian left in the 23rd minute because of a left ankle injury.

Philadelphia (3-3-1) had won three straight and was unbeaten in four.