US Soccer president Sunil Gulati (left) prepares to flip a coin on the Men In Blazers live show in Portland, Ore.
In less than two weeks, the 2014 US Open Cup Final will be all set after learning Monday evening the results of the coin flip determining which semifinal pairing would play host to the championship game in mid-September or October 1. US Soccer President Sunil Gulati’s coin flip during the special edition of the Men in Blazers live stage podcast at MLS All-Star events in Portland landed with tails showing, sending the title game to either Frisco, Texas or Chester, Pa. A representative from each semifinal team was in attendance. (WATCH VIDEO BELOW)
FC Dallas and the Philadelphia Union will square off Tuesday, Aug. 12 in Texas in the first semifinal. The winner will play host to either the Seattle Sounders or Chicago Fire, who face one another the following night in Washington. The date of the Final is still to be announced, but based on the combination of teams in the championship game, it will either take place on one of three midweek dates: Sept. 16, 17 or Oct. 1.
GolTV holds the broadcast rights to the 2014 US Open Cup Final in what is the final year of their contract with the federation.
Should Dallas prevail, it would be the first time the championship will be decided in Frisco since 2007 when the hosts fell to New England. It would mark just the fourth time the tournament would conclude in the state of Texas.
The greater-Philadelphia region has a much deeper history with 10 all-time US Open Cup Final matches, but has not hosted a championship game in the Modern Professional Era (1995-present) with Oakford, Pa., just north of the city, hosting the 1994 Final.
Having streamed coin flips and/or draws as part of the pageantry of the Open Cup has been a long desired wish of many fans of the tournament. Monday night’s draw is believed to be the first live presentation of the administration of the tournament in front of a crowd or broadcast as it was streamed online.
It didn’t come, however, without some questionable, if not controversial, moments. Hosts of the Men in Blazers podcast slurped some love for the tournament during the segment – though miscalled it US Cup several times – only to later take jabs at the coin flip and the tournament moments after it concluded when Portland Thorns and US international Alex Morgan took the stage, saying that it was the most-watched moment of the US Open Cup this year.
In addition, after the already very casually-run coin flip presentation, Gulati made a joke in response to the reaction of the fans, proposing the possibility of making it best two of three. ‘MiB’ host Roger Bennett then pointed out sarcastically that Gulati is a FIFA Executive Committee officer at which point Gulati then noted that if that is the situation then they should do it “like this” while playing around with the coin in his pants pocket.
Past US Open Cup Final matches in Philadelphia area
1915 – Bethlehem Steel 3:1 Brooklyn Celtic (Taylor Field in Bethlehem, PA)
1936 (2nd leg) – German American FC 3:0 (5:2 agg) Shamrocks SC (Rifle Club Grounds in Phila, PA)
1949 (1st leg) – Philadelphia Nationals 1:0 Morgan Strasser (Holmes Stadium in Phila, PA)
1952 (2nd leg) – Philadelphia Nationals 1:4 (AET, 5:7 agg) Harmarville (Holmes Stadium – Phila, PA)
1960 – Ukrainian Nationals 5:3 (AET) Los Angeles Kickers (Edison Field – Phila, PA)
1961 (2nd leg) – Ukrainian Nationals 5:2 (7:4 agg) United Scots (McCarthy Stadium – Phila, PA)
1963 – Ukrainian Nationals 1:0 Armenian SC (Cambria Field – Phila, PA)
1964 (1st leg) – Ukrainian Nationals 2:2 Los Angeles Kickers-Victoria (Cambria Field – Phila, PA)
1966 (2nd leg) – Ukrainian Nationals 3:0 (4:0 agg) Orange County (Cambria Stadium – Phila, PA)
1994 – Greek American AC 3:0 Bavarian SC (UGH Field – Oakford, PA)*
* Only Philadelphia-based Final that did not include a local team
Past US Open Cup Final matches in Texas
1983 – NY Pancyprian Freedoms 4:3 (AET) Kutis SC (Delmar Stadium – Houston, TX)
1995 – Richmond Kickers (1:1, 4:2 PKs) El Paso Patriots (SISD Student Activities Center – El Paso, TX)
2007 – New England Revolution 3:2 FC Dallas (Pizza Hut Park – Frisco, TX)
FULL SHOW REPLAY (US Open Cup Final draw at 50:30)