It required a thrilling overtime, but the Sounders captured their fourth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title in six years Tuesday night when Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins tallied late goals 13 minutes apart, lifting Seattle to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in Chester, PA. The four Cup victories tie the Chicago Fire for the most by an MLS club in the history of the competition.
Playing in their fifth Cup final, the Sounders collected $250,000 for the victory and earned a spot in the 2015 Champions League competition.
After Dempsey skied a shot attempt over the bar in the 10th minute, USMNT member Maurice Edu put Philadelphia up midway through the first 45 when he headed a free kick powerfully into the back of the net.
Seattle’s Chad Barrett leveled the match in the 47th minute when he nodded in a shot from point-blank range off a corner kick.
Neither side could convert numerous chances after that until the 101st minute when Dempsey exchanged passes with Martins, who came off the bench in the second half, and drove a return ball inside the left post from 14 yards.
Marco Pappa drilled a shot off the crossbar as the Sounders attempted to extend their lead, but Martins sealed the win. With Philadelphia pushing players forward, Martins found room to run at a defender and get into the area before slotting a shot past onrushing goalkeeper Zac MacMath to clinch the victory.
For Dempsey, the victory was his first in a club competition.
The Sounders join the Fire, New York Greek American Atlas SC, and the Philadelphia-based Ukrainian Nationals as the clubs with four Open Cup titles. Seattle is one championship away from tying the record of five held by the Bethlehem Steel and Maccabee AC (Los Angeles) . . . The Sounders reached the Open Cup final by outscoring four opponents by a combined 15-2. The run began June 18 with a 5-0 victory over PSA-Elite, continued with a penalty-shootout victory over San Jose and a 3-1 victory over the Portland Timbers. In the semifinal, the Sounders recorded their largest-ever margin of victor, defeating the Chicago Fire 6-0.
The Sounders will remain on the road for regular-season matches at New York Saturday. Th3n they head to Dallas Sept. 24. Seattle’s next home match is Sept. 27 against Chivas USA at CenturyLink Field.