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Fans packed out YSC Sports for a special night of local soccer in U.S. Open Cup



Photo by Matthew Ralph

YSC Sports near King of Prussia has played a key role the past decade in developing players for the Philadelphia Union but it’s not known as a place that packs in a crowd for a game.

That is until West Chester United hosted Ocean City Nor’easters for a first round match of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night.

The match between the two USL League Two rivals was the first and only match played Tuesday in the longest running soccer competition in the U.S.

Arriving at the game, the rows of permanent stands were full and people were gathered along the railings, at the top of the hill behind the goal and in temporary bleachers. When Finn Reese scored an early goal to put the hosts on top the crowd of around 400 people packed into the small outdoor venue erupted.

As the players celebrated and fans cheered, it felt like it was going to be the Predators day and that they would be celebrating again at the end in front of friends and family in the stands.

Ocean City of course had other plans and stormed back (pun intended) with three unanswered goals to silence the crowd and stun observers in the building and watching online.

As a year-round program you’d normally give West Chester an edge against a team that trained together just four days leading up to the game, but head coach Matt Perrella’s team were deserving winners, dominating for stretches of the game and frustrating the Predators attack.

Goalkeeper Brady Hochman came up big for the visitors with several key saves and interventions as West Chester pushed to pull back into the game. Andres Lattore scored what could be one of the goals of the tournament with his rocketed equalizer and after a Dylan Evande goal off a Kevin Curran corner Andre Sabino put the game away with a penalty kick after a handball was whistled in the box.

“We were unbelievable for 90 minutes,” Perella said. “And they battled; they were awesome.”

Sabino finished off his elaborate celebration directed at the partisan crowd with a dance that foreshadowed an even bigger celebration on the turf field after the whistle blew on the 90 minutes.

Oh the magic of the cup.

The two teams will face each other three times this summer in league play with rosters that will look very different but none of the games will come close to matching the energy and excitement of a packed out YSC Sports on a night that was as good of an advertisement as you can get for the power of local soccer in the Philadelphia region and beyond.

“It’s great for the game,” West Chester United head coach Blaise Santangelo said. “We’re disappointed but we move on to the next one.”

For more on the game, check out Greg Oldfield’s match report at


Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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