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UPDATE: Union to head to D.C. in first Open Cup qualifying match

Posted on 24 February 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Get ready for an extra road trip down I-95.

UPDATE (2/28/2011): United has won the coin toss and an away trip (most likely in mid to late April) to RFK Stadium it is. DC maintains their streak of having not had to play an away Open Cup related match in 5 years now. The rest of the Union’s Open Cup qualification schedule looks like this:

Once the Union beat DC, they advance to face New England at HOME. The winner of that moves on to the last play-in, a showdown with either Houston or Kansas City. All dates to be announced shortly.

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According to Steve Goff at the Washington Post, the Union will face D.C. United in the first round of US Open Cup qualification. United hasn’t played an Open Cup-related match on the road for almost four years so based on their past luck, one could expect an away draw for the Union. The possibility of hosting the match, however, is 50/50 as a coin toss to be held on Monday will decide the location of the game. If last year is any indication, the qualification process for Major League Soccer teams will start in late April an Nowak will look to take it seriously as he did last year. The only problem with Nowak’s approach was the fact that the Union left Harrison after last year’s qualification match vs. the New York Red Bulls with an injured Sebastien Le Toux.  

This would be one of three USOC qualifiers that the Union would have to win just to make the tournament, a tough road that will add to an already crowded fixture list with the addition of four games in the regular season. The expansion of the roster to 30 should help alleviate any congestion the USOC qualifiers cause but it will be interesting to see how Nowak approaches the Open Cup qualification process in 2011.

The Union were one and done last year after travelling up to Red Bull Arena and losing 2-1 only three days after losing to them by the same score several days before in regular season play. It was an undeniably lackluster performance that left the 50-75 Union supporters that made the trip up midweek a bit disappointed.

It would be nice for a home tie but we’ll have to wait until Monday to find out.

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