For 50 minutes Tuesday, Sounders fans at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila dwelled upon the dread fear that their team might duplicate the embarrassment suffered by Portland six days earlier — lose to an amateur team in U.S. Open Cup play.
Then came the deluge — five goals in 20 minutes to end the fantasy of Cal FC.
The three-time defending Cup champion Sounders took a brace each from Fredy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso for a 5-0 win in the tourney’s fourth round that was similar to their previous win in Cup play against the Atlanta Silverbacks — a slow start followed by an overwhelming second half.
After a scoreless first half against the fifth-division team from Thousand Oaks, CA., which to get here defeated three pro teams, including the Timbers in Portland 1-0 last week, the Sounders broke through in the 50th minute – on a penalty kick. Alonso scored after Cal FC was called for a handball on a shot by Montero. The spell was broken.
In the 58th minute, the Sounders delivered a more worthy score. Cordell Cato, a fast-improving 19-year-old rookie, flashed down the right flank with the ball and lifted a dead-eye cross to Fredy Montero, who redirected the ball to the far post for a 2-0 lead.
In the 66th minute, Andy Rose popped in a header after goalie Derby Carrillo saved one redirection off a corner kick, but couldn’t grasp the ball. It caromed back airborne in front of the goal, when Rose leaped up and knocked it into the back of the net.
In the 68th minute, Montero shot from distance and floated in a score that was initially denied by an offsides call, then reversed by officials. Two minutes later, Alonso struck again, from 20 yards straight in front of the goal, when he sent a bender over the hands of of Carrillo and just under the crossbar.
Despite the scoreless half, it was a complete domination by Seattle, which had a 27-4 advantage in shot attempts.
“The penalty kick got us off the schneid,” said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. “Then we had a couple of great goals — Fredy’s near-post run and and Ozzie’s bomb from the outside.
“We had a bad streak going in league, but the two Cup games have helped us. We got back in the groove and we got a chance to rest some players.”
The Sounders will play a quarterfinal match Tuesday against the MLS San Jose Earthquakes, who also won Tuesday night. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.
Seattle returns to MLS action June 16 at Montreal.