Fifth-tier Cal FC, an amateur club coached by Eric Wynalda, stunned the Timbers in Portland last week, giving coach Sigi Schmid emotional ammo to fire up his Sounders.
MATCH: Cal FC (U.S. Adult Soccer Association) at Seattle Sounders FC (Major League Soccer). TYPE: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. WHEN: Tuesday, 7 p.m., Starfire Sports Stadium, Tukwila. MEETING: 1st. TV: Soundersfc.com. RADIO: 97.3 KIRO FM; SPANISH: La Gran D 99.3 FM.
It would be easy to dismiss Cal FC, the Sounders’ fourth-round opponent in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Cal FC is, after all, a member of something called the U.S. Adult Soccer Association. But a snub, according to coach Sigi Schmid, would be a tremendous mistake, as the Portland Timbers found out last week.
Cal FC, an amateur team in the fifth tier of U.S. soccer that is composed mainly of players from the Thousand Oaks, CA., area, pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in U.S. Open Cup history, defeating the Timbers 1-0.
The Sounders and Cal FC face off at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Starfire in Tukwila as Seattle moves to the fourth round in pursuit of an unprecedented fourth U.S. Open Cup.
Obviously, it was an interesting game, Schmid said of the Cal FC’s shocker over Portland. It shows what can happen. The game of soccer is cruel sometimes. You can completely dominate the game and not come out with a result. Its happened to us a couple of times this season.
“And it happened to Portland. But those are all the experiences you end up going through. For us, its good because we get to play at home and dont have to travel.
Portland outshot Cal FC 37-8, had 15 shots on goal compared with Cal FC’s three, and took 11 corner kicks to CFCs three.
But the only shot of the match that mattered came from Cal FC forward Artur Aghasyan in the fifth minute of added time.
Cal FC is the handiwork of former U.S. national team member Eric Wynalda, who organized the club. This is how Schmid described Tuesday’s Open Cup foe:
Its not a Sunday morning pub team, Schmid said. Its not a bunch of guys who roll out of the bar and walk out onto the field to play. These are all guys who still see soccer in their future. Who even through the team maybe doesnt train all that much are training on their own, are staying fit on their own. So from that standpoint, its not your typical amateur team.
A number of Cal FC players have flirted with MLS teams. The Sounders tried out Cal FC goalkeeper Derby Carrillo, midfielder Diego Barrera, and defender Jesus Gonzalez. Cal FC defender Mike Randolph has played for the Timbers and the L.A. Galaxy, and was considered by the Sounders.
To reach the fourth round, Cal FC, based in Ventura County, defeated the Kitsap Pumas (Bremerton) of the USL Premier Development League, the Wilmington (NC) Hammerheads of the USL Professional Division (third tier of the American soccer pyramid) and the Portland Timbers.
The winner will play either the San Jose Earthquakes or Minnesota Stars FC (NASL) June 26 in a road match.
SERIES: The MLS Sounders and Cal FC have never met.
LAST MATCH (Sounders, May 30): Sounders FC started its run for a fourth straight Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a third-round win over the Atlanta Silverbacks, 5-1 at Starfire. Seattle scored four second-half goals and set a club record for goals in an Open Cup match. Sammy Ochoa scored twice, Osvaldo Alonso scored and assisted, while Andy Rose and Alex Caskey added goals.
SOUNDERS U.S. OPEN CUP RESULTS
|28-Apr-09||Real Salt Lake||W||4-1||3,890||1-0-0|
|02-Sept.-09||at D.C. United||W||2-1||17,329||6-0-0|
The title run included Roger Levesque’s first-minute goal at Portland followed by late goals from Nate Jaqua and Stephen King to advance past Houston in extra time, and win in the final at D.C. United 2-1.
|30-Jun-10||at Portland||D||1-1 PK||15,422||6-0-1|
Nate Jaqua netted five goals in four games to earn Player of the Tournament honors, and Sanna Nyassi finished off the championship run with a brace in the final against the Columbus Crew, giving Seattle a 2-1 victory.
Fredy Montero, who stole the show, netting three game-winners in the final three matches, and Osvaldo Alonso delivered a well-crafted goal in stoppage time in the final against Chicago.
Sammy Ochoa’s two goals eliminated the Atlanta Silverbacks in a third round match May 30 at Starfire Sports Stadium.
SOUNDER U.S. OPEN CUP HISTORY
Overall, Seattle has won 14 games with one draw, outscoring opponents 33-10.
A Seattle team has advanced to the Open Cup semifinals in each of the past five years. In addition to the Sounders’ victories from 2009-11, the USL-1 Sounders reached that stage in 2007 (against FC Dallas) and 2008 (Charleston).
Prior to the victory over D.C. United in 2009, the only Seattle club to qualify for an Open Cup final was the amateur Mitre Eagles in 1987. The Eagles fell to Club Espana of Washington, D.C., on penalties following a 0-0 draw.
While the NASL Sounders did not participate in the Open Cup, the A-League Sounders competed on an annual basis, beginning in 1995. They lost to El Paso in the semifinals that season, and also advanced to the final four in 1996.
SOUNDERS STATS / NOTES
SOUNDERS (MLS) LEADERS
|Starts||Montero 12, Estrada 12, Alonso 11, Parke 10|
|Goals||Estrada 5, Montero 4, Johnson 3, Rosales 1, Evans 1, Scott 1|
|Assists||Montero 3, Caskey 3, Fernandez 2, Rosales 2|
|Shots||Montero 65, Estrada 23, Johnson 21, Alonso 10, Evans 10|
|Shots On Goal||Montero 23, Estrada 10, Johnson 4, Evans 4, Alonso 3|
|Fouls Caused||Montero 25, Alonso 18, Johnson 15, Scott 12, Parke 10|
|Fouls Suffered||Montero 34, Alonso 20, Fernandez 13, 2 with 12|
|Offsides||Johnson 12, Montero 6, Estrada 6, Fernandez 1|
|Corner Kicks||Rosales 23, Fernandez 16, Montero 10, Caskey 9|
|Cautions||Montero 3, Johnson 3, Alonso 3, Scott 2|
COACHES: Sigi Schmid became first head coach of Seattle Sounders FC Dec. 16, 2008, and is in his fourth year. Born in Tübingen, Germany, Schmid relocated with his family to the U.S. in 1956, and to Torrance, CA., in 1962. He was a four-year starter at UCLA (1972-75) and graduated with a B.S. degree in economics in 1976.
Schmid later earned a M.A. in business administration from Southern California. A certified public accountant, Schmid coached the Los Angeles Galaxy from 1999 through 2004, winning four major competitions: 2002 MLS Cup, 2002 MLS Supporters Shield, 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2001 CONCACAF Champions Cup. He coached the Columbus Crew from 2006-08, winning the MLS Cup in his final season.
In 2009, under Schmid’s direction, the Sounders became the first expansion team to reach the MLS playoffs since the 1998 Chicago Fire. The Sounders also won the U.S. Open Cup in Schmid’s first season. They added their second and third U.S. Open Cup titles in 2010 and 2011.
Eric Wynalda: Wynalda is in his first season as head coach of Cal FC. Heis a retired American soccer player and national team member, and former sports broadcaster. He was the co-host of Fox Football Fone-In on Fox Soccer Channel.
COMING UP: The Sounders take a break from MLS play until June 16, when they play at Montreal. The Sounders will not return to Seattle until June 20.
Seattle Sounders FC 2012 Schedule / Results
(7-3-3, 24 points, MLS; 1-1 CCL; 1-0 U.S. Open Cup)
|4/7||^at DC United||4:30||KING||D||0-0||2-1-1|
|5/9||^at FC Dallas||5:30||KONG||W||2-0||7-1-1|
|6/30||^vs. New England||4:30||KING||—||—||—|
|7/15||^at New York||1:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|8/5||^vs. LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN2||—||—||—|
|8/11||^at San Jose||7:30||KING||—||—||—|
|9/2||^at FC Dallas||4:00||KING||—||—||—|
|10/21||^vs. FC Dallas||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|10/28||^at LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
*=CONCACAF; ^=Major League Soccer; #=International friendly; &=U.S. Open Cup