Chicago Fire vs. DC United | US Open Cup Semifinal Preview

CHICAGO FIRE vs. D.C. UNITED
TOYOTA PARK, Bridgeview, Ill.
Aug. 7, 2013 (US Open Cup Semifinal)
8:30 pm ET (Streaming live on Chicago-Fire.com)

Game notes courtesy of Chicago-Fire.com, DCUnited.com

Two sides on the outside-looking-in for the MLS playoff picture have a chance to advance to a final of their own with a win when the Chicago Fire hosts D.C. United in the US Open Cup semifinal Wednesday night at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.

The Fire advanced to the semifinals of the storied tournament with a 5-1 victory over the Orlando City SC June 26 at Toyota Park. A Chris Rolfe brace and goals from Patrick Nyarko, Mike Magee and Joel Lindpere led the Men in Red to their 33rd all-time victory of the 100-year old tournament. D.C. United advanced after a 3-1 victory over the New England Revolution at the SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md.

CHICAGO FIRE

Since 1998 the Fire have racked up an impressive 33-10-4 record all-time in Open Cup play, which has helped the squad reach the semifinal round nine out of 16 times and the final six times. The Fire have previously hoisted the coveted Dewar Trophy four times, in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. The 2006 title marked the ninth time a team from Chicago won the Open Cup and made the Fire one of six teams to capture the crown at least four times in the tournament's 100-year-long history.

Determined by a coin flip, the winner of the Fire vs. D.C. United semifinal match will hit the road for the final. If the Portland Timbers defeat Real Salt Lake in its semifinal match on Aug. 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the Open Cup Final will be played on Sept. 24 at JELD-WEN Field. If Salt Lake wins the semifinal, the championship will be played on Oct. 1 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The Fire are 21-0-1 all-time in Open Cup matches played in the state of Illinois. The Fire have reached the semifinal round nine out of 16 times The Fire are 1-1-0 all-time against D.C. United in Open Cup play. The Fire defeated D.C. United 3-0 in the 2006 semifinal round and fell 2-1 in the 2008 quarterfinals. This is the third meeting across all competitions between the two sides this year. The Fire defeated D.C. United 2-0 on June 2 and 4-1 on July 20 in MLS play at Toyota Park.

D.C. UNITED

With the club’s recent additions to its roster, D.C. United’s average age across all first team players is now 25.4 years. The average age of all players who started the game against the Montreal Impact on Aug. 3 was 25.9 years. In addition, the average age of D.C. United players who picked up either an assist or goal was just 23 years. Meanwhile, the average age of the Chicago Fire starters against the Philadelphia Union on the same day was 27.2 years, while the average age of those who contributed a goal or assist was 28.6 years.

Since joining D.C. United from Toronto FC on July 9, Luis Silva has made three appearances, all starts, for his new club and netted three goals. His latest came in D.C. United’s 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact on Aug. 3 as the fourth overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft continues to make an immediate impact for the Black-and-Red. In fact, Silva and Mike Magee of the Chicago Fire are the only two MLS players with an active three-goal scoring streak.

D.C. United captain Dwayne De Rosario is currently the joint-second leading scorer in this year’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, having scored four goals in three games. De Rosario notched a hat-trick in the fourth round match on 6/19 against the Philadelphia Union, earning him Player of the Round honors. De Rosario’s hat-trick was the third by a D.C. United player in the history of the Open Cup, following Raul Diaz Arce (2000) and Abdul Thompson Conteh (2001).

D.C. United have won the second-most number of games (32) among MLS teams in the Open Cup. Semifinal opponent the Chicago Fire has won the most (35) in the domestic tournament.

The Chicago Fire have conceded 10 goals between the 61st and 75th minutes in its 21 MLS games this season. The Fire has also conceded 21 goals in the second half of league matches, compared to 10 in the first half of games.

D.C. United has now reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup nine times in its history, the joint-most among MLS teams with the Chicago Fire. United last reached this stage in 2010, when the team lost 2-1 in extra time to the Columbus Crew on 9/1/10. The Black-and-Red last won in the semifinals on 7/21/09, when the squad beat the Rochester Raging Rhinos 2-1, thanks to goals from Jaime Moreno and Thabiso Khumalo.