CHESTER, Pa (WPHL)– Excitement is brewing at the Philadelphia Union’s Subaru Park as the team prepares to face off against Inter Miami CF and the G.O.A.T himself, Lionel Messi.
After defeating Queretaro F.C. 2-1 on August 11, the Philadelphia Union advances to the 2023 Leagues Cup semifinals where they will host Inter Miami CF on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Subaru Park.
Since signing Messi as their captain on July 15, Inter Miami is 5-0 ahead on Tuesday night’s game against the Union.
The game will decide who advances to the 2023 Leagues Cup Final on Saturday, August, 19th, against the winner of the western conference Semifinalists, Nashville SC and CF Monterrey. The winner of the game will also automatically qualify for the 2023 Concacaf Champions Cup.
The Union is currently ranked the number three team in the MLS Eastern Conference, while Inter Miami is ranked number 15.
In a press conference, Union Coach Jim Curtin said he never thought he would be preparing his team for a game against Messi, but sees it as a great opportunity. ” We have an opportunity here to play against the greatest player in the history of our sport… we have an amazing crowd that will be very loud for us, and I believe it will be the loudest this building has ever been.” He continued, “When they step on that field, they’ll be brave, they’ll be together and win, lose, or draw, I know they’ll give everything and I’m really proud of that”.
According to the Union, tickets were sold out just minutes after they went live on the website.
Philly sports fans have a well known reputation so the Union is expecting to fans to go all out for their tailgating.
Union goalkeeper Andre Blake spoke to the press ahead of Tuesday night’s game and highlighted the need to keep a clear mindset and focus on the game, ” We’re going to need to start fast, we’re going to need to be 100% focused from that first whistle.. and we’re going to need to be engaged for the full 90 minutes.” He continued, “there’s going to be pressure obviously but this our home and we have to find a way to deal with the pressure and go out and execute and do our jobs efficiently and effectively.”
When asked about his message to the Philadelphia Union fans, Blake said, “We have the best fans in the world and we need you here, so just be as loud as possible and we are going to feed off your energy and do our best. ”
PHL17’s Kelsey Fabian spoke to long-time Philadelphia Union Public Address Announcer, Kevin Casey, who said, “Messi’s a unique player, he’s the kind of guy like Michael Jordan in basketball, when the balls around him there’s an electricity and you just expect something special to happen at all times so hopefully we can keep our blue jerseys next to him and keep him down. ”
If you are heading to the game, Subaru Park’s parking lots will open at 2 p.m., the Union Yards will open at 4 p.m., and the gates will open at 5 p.m.
If you are planning to bring a bag, Subaru Park only permits clear bags or small clutches sized 4″ x 6″ or smaller.
Prohibited items include:
- Bags that are not clear
- Bags larger than 14″ x14 “
- Beverage containers of any kind
- Bottles, cans, or coolers of any kind
- Camera bags
- Camera lenses that are over 8″
- Computer bags
- Electronic cigarettes
- Selfie Sticks
- Smoke bombs
- Video cameras, including Go-pros
- Weapons of any kind.
If you’re a diehard fan who wants to go regardless of the price, tickets ranging from $175-850 are still available online, according to the Union’s ticketing website. You can also watch on Apple TV with the MLS Season Pass.