During the last week it has been old home week for Union goalkeeper John McCarthy. Last Tuesday he played against his old Reading United team in a friendly that the visiting Union won, 1-0.
On Tuesday, the Union will host another former team of McCarthy's and the stakes will be much higher. The Union will meet the United Soccer League's Rochester Rhinos in Tuesday's fourth round U.S. Open Cup game, 7:30 p.m. at PPL Park.
It's the first U.S. Open Cup game this season for the Union, who as a Major League Soccer team, received a bye to this point. Last year the Union advanced to the Open Cup championship before losing a 3-1 decision in extra time to the visiting Seattle Sounders.
The Open Cup dates back to 1914 and open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the U.S.
McCarthy, who starred at North Catholic and La Salle University, has made five starts for the Union, but hasn't played in the Union's last six MLS games. He was out with a concussion and now Brian Sylvestre has played well as the starter and has been difficult to supplant.
Sylvestre is ineligible to play in the Open Cup because he competed earlier in the tournament with the NASL's Carolina RailHawks, who have sold him to the Union on an eight-week loan.
Union coach Jim Curtin announced during Monday's press conference that McCarthy will start on Tuesday and Andre Blake, who returned to practice a week ago from a second knee surgery, will be the backup.
Last season with Rochester, McCarthy was named the USL Pro's Goalkeeper of the Year.
"It meant a lot to be able to get a lot of games under my belt as a rookie in the professional world," McCarthy said of his time in Rochester. "It did a lot for me as you can tell, I took a step to the next level and couldn't be more grateful to them."
Notable. Midfielder Wilson Palacios, 30, who started two games last year in the World Cup for Honduras, has been training with the Union for the past week. He played this past season for Stoke City of the English Premier League.
"He is a guy career speaks for itself international level World Cup, with Tottenham, with Stoke," Union coach Jim Curtin said. ". . . We had him in for a week to take a look at him and he will be here through Wednesday and we have to make a decision after that, but he has been good."