You may or not care about soccer, but if you’d like to see a Philadelphia team play for their first trophy in franchise history, turn on ESPN 2 at 8 p.m. to watch the Union take on the Houston Dynamo in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final.

The Open Cup is a side competition that takes place concurrent with the MLS regular season. Think of the latter as your normal American sports season: the Phillies play the Mets, Nationals, and other teams and compete for the World Series. Now add a separate competition in the summer that involves the Phils, Mets, Nats, Augusta Green Jackets, and Toledo Mud Hens, and that’s basically what the Open Cup is. It’s just a competition that allows teams from all levels of the sport to compete for a separate trophy during the same calendar year.

Hopefully that makes sense. All you really need to know is that the Union get a chance to lift their first piece of hardware tonight, which would go a loooooong way towards getting them some respectability in town. This is a team that has underachieved dramatically from day one, and maybe they turn a corner and do the city proud by putting a piece of silverware in the trophy case.

This is a road game, and Houston is a sub-500 team that looks like the underdog on paper. I’d be wary, though, because they’ve got a pair of fantastic wingers in Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto who can really slice and dice a defense when they’re on their game. The rest of the Dynamo roster is filled with decent players who I would not describe as world beaters, but they’re more than capable of putting goals on the board. The Union are rolling through the summer into the fall and have won seven of their last nine games, so they come into this game with a ton of confidence and momentum.

Here’s a nicely done hype video narrated by Freeway, if you’re into these sorts of things:

There’s a lot riding on this game.

Head coach Jim Curtin’s future is uncertain as the team transitions from the Earnie Stewart years to the guidance of new Sporting Director Ernst Tanner. Winning the USOC qualifies you for the North American Champions League and earns you $300,000 in prize money, money that can be used in the international transfer window this summer.

Most importantly, I think Philly can appreciate a winner more than anything. The Union have not been a winner since they began play in 2010, but ripping off a victory tonight maybe changes the perception of the team as a large market club that operates more like a small market club.

If the Eagles can win the Super Bowl with Nick Foles, then anything is possible, right?

I previewed the game with the Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald on Tuesday: