On Tuesday night, it's the Union's turn to try to buck the trend against its minor-league affiliate, or become just another MLS club Harrisburg checks off its list on a quest to become the first USL Pro team to capture an Open Cup crown since Rochester in 1999.
"We are taking this tournament very seriously and we know they are, too," Union midfielder Jack McInerney said. "But this is a chance for us to get our first trophy - and with the season we've had, it would be a great way for all of us to continue to build confidence."
The Union made the quarterfinals after a 2-1 win over D.C. United in added time in the fourth round. If the Union beat the City Islanders, they will host the winner of MLS' Sporting Kansas City vs. the Dayton Dutch Lions, a USL Pro squad, on July 10 or 11.
"They have a really good team, and we know them very well," said defender Gabe Farfan of the City Islanders. "They have a lot of talent. Harrisburg is a team we can't take for granted - we saw what they've done against better clubs. We'll have to put forth our best effort for 90 minutes."
The last time these two faced each other, Harrisburg defeated a reserve-heavy Union sqaud, 3-2, in a friendly at Hersheypark Stadium. It's a moment that former Union midfielder Morgan Langley, now with Harrisburg, hasn't forgotten. Langley, who appeared in one match with the Union last season, is eager to show what he's worth.
"I absolutely do have a chip on my shoulder," Langley told the Union web site. "I believe that I can be at that level."
And while Isles midfielder J.T. Noone said he is treating this game the same as any other, the Union certainly are not.
"We can't take Harrisburg lightly on Tuesday," said defender Raymon Gaddis, who spent time last season with the Union's other minor-league affiliate, Reading United. "We are excited about our win against Sporting Kansas City [4-0 on Saturday], but now it's back to business."
Harrisburg City Islanders at Union
What: U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal
Where: PPL Park, Chester
Tickets: $15 for season-ticket holders, $25 for general public. Parking is free.
(as of June 22)
Out for Union - Krystian Witkowski, FW (concussion symptoms); Sheanon Williams, D (right big toe avulsion fracture); Gabriel Gomez, MF (left knee bruise/patellar tendinitis); Chandler Hoffman, FW (left big toe fracture). Probable - Freddy Adu, MF (shoulder bruise).
- Kerith Gabriel
Contact Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @sprtswtr on Twitter.