CHESTER, Pa. – In the first-ever US Open Cup game at PPL Park, the Philadelphia Union fought off a scrappy Rochester Rhinos squad, a one-hour lightning delay and a second-half monsoon to earn a 3-0 victory.
Freddy Adu scored twice and Josué Martínez added a goal and an assist to lead the hosts into the fourth round of the tournament where D.C. United – a 2-1 winner over the Richmond Kickers – awaits next Tuesday at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Martínez’s goal came in the fifth minute as the 22-year-old Costa Rican took advantage of sloppy Rochester defending to bang home a deflection in the box.
In the 29th minute, shortly after the game resumed following a nasty thunderstorm, Adu put Philly up 2-0 when he headed home a cross from Martínez.
Adu put the finishing touches on the win by drilling a penalty kick in the 73rd minute, a goal set up when Michael Farfan was taken down in the box after some crafty dribbling.
Making his second straight start in net, third-string ’keeper Chris Konopka registered a pair of saves against the USL-Pro side. His shutout was aided by a strong performance from Philly’s young, makeshift backline of Michael Farfan, Gabriel Farfan, Sheanon Williams and Amobi Okugo.
Manager Peter Nowak and defensive anchor Carlos Valdés were both suspended for the match because of red cards from last year’s US Open Cup game. Assistant coach John Hackworth ran the team in Nowak’s absence.
Tuesday’s victory marks the Union’s first US Open Cup victory. They previously lost road matches to the Red Bulls and United.
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.