Union coach Jim Curtin knows who his goalkeeper will be for his team's U.S. Open Cup game against D.C. United Tuesday night at PPL Park. But Curtin isn't willing to disclose his decision.
Brian Sylvestre has started the last nine Major League Soccer games for the Union in goal, but he is ineligible to play for them in this tournament since he competed in the earlier rounds for the Carolina RailHawks of the NASL.
Curtin's choice is either John McCarthy or Andre Blake. McCarthy starred in the Union's opening U.S. Open Cup game, a 3-1 win in penalty kicks against the Rochester Rhinos. McCarthy blocked three Rochester penalty kicks.
Last season Blake was the first overall choice in the MLS SuperDraft, but he played in only one league game. This season he has endured surgery on cartilage in both knees but is now healthy.
Blake has yet to play for the Union this season and will depart on Friday to join Jamaica's national team as it prepares for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
"He still hasn't seen live action, and practices are different from the games," Curtin said Monday. "Is he capable of going out [Tuesday] and starting again? He is that talented, he is a very good goalkeeper, but we have to do what is best for the team and we have to make a decision that makes the most sense to him."
"Yes there is a chance and I will be ready for it," Blake said after practice. "I will go home and prepare as if I am playing, so whenever my number is called it will be no surprise."
Blake last played for the Union on Aug. 15 in a 2-0 loss at Houston. It is the only MLS game he has played for the team.
The Union and D.C. United have split two MLS games this season. . . . Curtin said the Union need to decide soon on whether to extend the loan to forward Fernando Aristeguieta. He said a decision will likely come in the next few days. . . . Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz was asked on Sirius XM radio about the fan protest before a 1-0 win over visiting D.C. United on May 17. "When stuff like that happens, it puts wedges between people," he said.