BY MARCUS HAYES, Daily News Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: July 10, 2014
FROM THE SCORING to the weather, it was a night of little surprises at PPL Park in the Union's U.S. Open Cup match win over New England, 2-0.
Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton was startled when plodding forward Conor Casey slipped behind the defense and was left alone with Sheanon Williams' through ball comfortably on his foot. Casey feinted Knighton to the ground and scored for a 1-0 lead 9 minutes into the game Tuesday night.
Sebastian Le Toux certainly didn't expect his free kick to slip through Knighton's hands for a 2-0 lead at 48 minutes, just after the second half began.
And no one expected the line of harrowing thunderstorms to create the drama that they did.
In the game's 60th minute, a dust storm from the unpaved parking lots rolled across the field like smoke, propelled by winds that pushed past the 40-mph mark. Then rain fell in sheets for nearly an hour. The game resumed after a 58-minute delay, an already sparse crowd of 2,626 further thinned by the winds and rain.
The Revolution's A.J. Soares was sent off in extra time after he was given a red card for a hard foul on Andrew Wenger, the culmination of a cavalcade of cards issued in the second half.
The win sends the Union to the U.S. Cup semifinals, to be played Aug. 12 at the winner of FC Dallas and the Carolina Railhawks, who play today.
It was the Union's sixth win in its last eight matches and its fifth win in the six games since the firing of coach John Hackworth a month ago.
"It was crazy with the storm and everything," said interim coach Jim Curtin, "but I thought we had a good mentality."
The Union will next resume its MLS schedule at home against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at 7 p.m., a game Curtin called "huge."