A win Wednesday night at Starfire advances the Sounders to the U.S. Open Cup final for the fourth consecutive year, against the Philadelphia-Kansas City winner.
MATCH: Chivas USA (4-6-2, 13 points, 6th, West Conf.) at Seattle Sounders FC (8-5-6, 30 points, 3rd, West Conf.). TYPE: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. WHEN: Wednesday, 7 p.m., Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila. MEETING: 10th (series tied 2-2-4, MLS; Sounders lead 3-2-4, all competitions). TV: None, match will be streamed live on SoundersFC.com. RADIO: 97.3 KIRO FM; SPANISH: La Gran D 99.3 FM.
Having snapped a record nine-game MLS winless streak by beating the Colorado Rapids 2-1 last weekend, the Sounders take a break from league action Wednesday when they resume pursuit of a fourth consecutive Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a semifinal against Chivas USA at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Wednesday amounts to a rematch of the 2010 Cup semifinals, won by the Sounders 3-1. In that match, Nate Jaqua scored twice and Fredy Montero added a third. Jesus Padilla scored for Chivas.
Seattle is unbeaten in 17 Cup matches (16-0-1) since entering the league in 2009. The Sounders, 11-0 at Starfire Stadium, are trying to become the first club in the 99-year history of the tournament to win four consecutive Cups.
To reach the semifinal round, the Sounders defeated the Atlanta Silverhawks 5-1 and Cal FC 5-0.
Chivas’ road to the 2012 semis has been marked by late drama, including two stoppage-time winners. The Goats advanced past Ventura County, 1-0, in the opening round, and then defeated the Carolina Railhawks in the fourth round 2-1. This is the second time in club history that Chivas reached the Cup semifinal round.
The winner of Seattle-Chivas will face the winner of Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia Union in the finals Aug. 7 or 8. If Seattle and Kansas City advance, the clubs would meet at Livestrong Park in Kansas City. If Seattle and Philadelphia advance, the final would be played at Starfire.
SERIES: Dates to April 18, 2009, when Chivas USA defeated the Sounders 2-0 in Carson, CA. In subsequent matches, the Sounders had one loss and two draws. Seattle has won four of the past five with a draw, including a 3-1 victory in the Cup Sept. 1, 2010. The clubs last met May 26 in Carson, CA., and played to a 1-1 draw.
LAST MATCH (Sounders, July 7): Alvaro Fernandez and Eddie Johnson scored second-half goals as the Sounders FC (8-5-6, 30 points) defeated Colorado (7-10-1, 22 points), 2-1. Steve Zakuani made his first MLS appearance in more than 14 months in front of 39,060 at CenturyLink Field. Seattle opened the scoring in the 52nd minute when Fernandez leaped over the defense and pounded a Mauro Rosales corner past Rapids keeper Matt Pickens. It was the first of the season for Fernandez. The Sounders doubled their lead in the 64th minute on another Rosales assist. Patrick Ianni picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and rolled it to Rosales who sent a cross into the box. Johnson rose above the defense and beat Pickens with a header.
SOUNDERS STATS / NOTES
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.
|26-June-12||at San Jose||W||1-0||7,219||16-0-1|
Sammy Ochoa’s two goals eliminated the Atlanta Silverbacks in a third-round match May 30 at Starfire. Freddy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso each scored twice in the Sounders’ 5-0 win over Cal FC in the fourth round. Match marked the first time two Seattle players scored multiple goals in the same game. Cordell Cato scored Seattle’s lone goal against the Earthquakes in San Francisco in the 19th minure.
SOUNDERS U.S. OPEN CUP HISTORY
Seattle has won 16 games with one draw, outscoring opponents 39-10.
A Seattle team has advanced to the Open Cup semifinals in each of the past six 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.
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.
Robin Fraser: Chivas USA named Fraser its sixth head coach Jan. 4, 2011. He took the role after a distinguished 10-year MLS playing career and four successful seasons as an assistant coach with Real Salt Lake. Fraser was a standout for several MLS clubs and a veteran of the United States National Team.
COMING UP: Sounders will host the New York Red Bulls Sunday afternoon in a match that will be televised nationally by ESPN. New York is two points out of first place in the East, and had a three-game unbeaten run snapped at New England last weekend. The Sounders will then take a two-week break from MLS action but will host an international friendly against Champions League winners Chelsea July 18. The Sounders will return to league play July 28 at Colorado.
Seattle Sounders FC 2012 Schedule / Results
(8-5-6, 30 points, MLS; 1-1 CCL; 3-0 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|
|6/26||&at San Jose||7:30||Webcast||W||1-0||3-0-0|
|6/30||^at New England||4:30||KONG||D||2-2||7-5-5|
|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