Archive | US Open Cup

2013 Open Cup Final Real Salt Lake v DC United

Posted on 02 October 2013 by Tino Arana

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Seattle Sounders Fall in Shootout to Sporting KC

Posted on 09 August 2012 by Kyle Alm

A hot and muggy Kansas City afternoon gave way to a thunderstorm that delayed the started of this much anticipated match for over 30 minutes. Lightning within 2 miles of LIVESTRONG Sporting Park means a 30 minute delay from that strike.

Sporting KC had control of the match early in the first half, in the second minute Teal Bunbury received a square ball near the top of the box, had he allowed the ball to continue rolling Kei Kamara was unmarked on Sporting’s left wing. Bunbury put his shot over the bar, Kamara certainly had the better position for a scoring opportunity.

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© 2012 Denise McCooey & Prost Amerika

Sounders struggled to to creat chances and possess the ball in offensive poistion, seemed to have difficulty making accurate passes, and to make matters worse Osvaldo Alonso was given a caution in the fourth minute for dissent following a challenge on Kei Kamara that sent certainly appeared to be embellished. Alonso was booked for dissent when Referee Ricardo Salazar had something to tell Alonso.

Michael Gspurning was called into action for his first save of the night in the sixth minute on a header in the box from Kamara on a throw-in but went straigh at Gspurning. Sounders gave up another scoring opportunity on a throw in the 26th minute, a shot from distance that went off of the crossbar.

Sounders had their first shot on goal when Eddie Johnson connected with a Mauro Rosales corner kick in the 30th minute that Jimmy Nielsen managed remarkabley managed to save.

Kamara set the crowd alight with a rocket of a shot that hit the side netting in the 38th minute. The crowd thought it was a goal, the confetti operator thought so as well. Once again it was a throw in that lead up to the shooting chance.

Sporting started the second half well, Teal Bunbury had another shot on frame that Gspurning saved. Sporting were much more the aggressor in the second half and had the more dangerous chances throughout the match. Sounders made two substitutions in the 69th minute, bringing on veteran Brad Evans and DP Christian Tiffert for Andy Rose and Alex Caskey, two rookie Sounders.

Controversy struck in the 84th minute when Pat Ianni was whistled for a handball in the box for a penalty. Replays were inconclusive, none of the press seemed to be able to tell who the handball was actually on. It seemed more of a case of the ball playing the hand, usually not given as a penalty. Kei Kamara would step up the spot, send Gspurning to left and went right.

Sounders showed their resilience and drew level two minutes later when Zach Scott headed home a corner kick in the 86th minute to draw level and send the match to extra time and eventually a penalty shootout. Both sides seemed content with their chance in that scenario. Schmid would sub Fredy Montero for Marc Burch in the 107th minute of extra time. An extra defender turned out to be exactly what Sounders needed when ten minutes later Patrick Ianni was sent off in the 118th minute for a reckless tackle he was yellow then red and Sounders were left with ten men to finish the match and managed to kill off the rest of the time without conceding a goal.

Ricardo Salazar made two controversial calls, the penalty kick on a phantom handball and allowing Paulo Nagamura to take a second penalty kick after Gspurning had made a save on his first attempt. To Salazar it appeared that Gspurning moved off the goal line before the shot was taken, it’s rarely called in most penalty kick situations because it’s dificult to see the line when the ball is being struck and every goalkeeper is taught to anticipate the kick.

In the end Sporting KC had the better opportunities to score, Gspurning did an admirable job keeping them out of his net, but they were unlucky not to score a few of their chances. Kei Kamara’s shot off the crossbar definitely stands out. Gspurning made more saves than Jimmy Nielsen did in the shootout, the final shootout tally was 3-2. Ultimately it was unfortunate that there is so much speculation about officiating in a Cup Final.

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US Open Cup Preview

Posted on 07 August 2012 by Kyle Alm

Seattle Sounders face off against Sporting Kansas City in the Lamar Hunt US Open cup Final tomorrow, in Livestrong Park. Sounders have won the Cup the last three years running, the biggest criticism of their success is that is that they have played a majority of their US Open Cup matches in Qwest/CenturyLink or Starfire Sports Complex in front of their home crowd. Sounders did win the US Open Cup hosted by DC United in 2009 and have hosted the Final in 2010 & 2011.

Detractors can say that winning is easier at home, but it’s not easy to win a Cup Final no matter where it is played. Despite the criticism it is fair to say that the Sounders run of success has raised the profile of this competition. Other teams certainly have taken notice of what the competition has meant to the Supporters of the Sounders and now see the US Open Cup as worthy of trying to win and host.

Sounders have hosted so many matches because they can afford to pay more for them under the sealed bid process of awarding home matches. Sounders draw approximately 4,500 (give or take) at Starfire for USOC which certainly allows them to invest more than teams that wouldn’t draw so well. Adrian Hanauer was surprised that Kansas City was awarded the Final, Sigi Schmid also criticized the process as being opaque. The story goes that Sporting KC & Seattle Sounders FC submitted identical bids and a coin flip determined the winner. A coin flip no one saw. Schmid went so far as to comment about the ties to US Soccer, who runs the US Open Cup, from the DC United & Sporting KC clubs.

Sounders are fresh off of their 4-0 drubbing of LA Galaxy, and have a new signing with Christian Tiffert CM who logged his first minutes in that match. Sounders have Michael Gspurning, MLS leader in GAA, who has been out with an injury since May 2nd in LA against Galaxy. Sporting have their share of injury issues, center back Aurelin Collin is injured, but would miss the match anyway due to yellow card accumulation, Bobby Convey and Jacob Peterson are also doubtful.

Sporting KC certainly have been a team on the rise in MLS, a new soccer specific stadium at Livestrong Park, tied for first in the Eatern Confernce with DC United at 40 points. Sounders are equal, with a game in hand and three points behind. It’s difficult to handicap this match, it seems to be exactly even, Sounders have the better record recently and have a new DP with Tiffert, but Sporting have Kei Kamara in the middle, who has had several big matches against Sounders, and the home fans. I would like to give the edge to Seattle, because they know that this is a playoff type atmosphere against a top MLS side and they have the opportunity to make it four Cups in a row, but Sporting have a chance to win their first US Open Cup since 2004 when they were the Wizards and played in a baseball stadium.

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Sounders Knock Cal FC Out Of US Open Cup

Posted on 06 June 2012 by Kyle Alm

For a team that no one had heard of a few weeks ago Cal FC have certainly captured the attention of the soccer community in these United States. Their amateur status, the firebrand coach, and roster of misfits and success against established teams in higher leagues, the most recent of which being the Portland Timbers, who were felled by Wynalda’s small axe in dramatic fashion where a MLS Designated Player missed a PK and the lower division side advanced in shoot out.

Seattle Sounders, winners of the last three US Open Cup tournaments, were not taking Cal FC lightly, with the exception of Andy Rose, Alex Caskey, and Sammy Ochoa, the Sounders were all regular starters, and even Rose and Caskey have started for Sounders this season.

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Cal FC employed a similar strategy in Tukwila as they did in Portland, sit back, defend, and look for a break. It would prove less effective than it did a week ago.

A moment of minor controversy in the 12th minute when a handball was awarded for a Sounders free kick just outside the penalty box. There were several appeals for a penalty, but referee Daniel was not hearing it. On replay it looked very clear that the ball was handed very close the 18 yard line, awarding a penalty might have been too harsh, too early.

Cal FC did muster two shots in the first half, one on target that went directly to Bryan Meredith for an easy save in the 17th minute. Sounders took 11 shots and got 2 on target.

Osvaldo Alonso Volley vs Cal FC

Osvaldo Alonso scored a magnificent goal tonight against Eric Wynalda's Cal FC, this volley was from 30 yards. © 2012 American Soccer News Photo by John Crouch

In the second half the Sounders would find their scoring touch, over and over again. Another old adage, sometimes it only takes one goal to get on track offensively. Sounders would find their first goal on a penalty in the 50th minute for a handball in the box, that was much clearer than the decision in the 12th minute. As Osvaldo Alonso stepped up to the spot memories of Kris Boyd’s miss and Sounders frequent difficulties converting PKs may have caused some distress, but the Cuban defector found the corner of the net past a diving Derby Carillo for the first score.

Sounders would not let up over the next 20 minutes as they added four more goals, 2 from Fredy Montero, one from Andy Rose and a spectacular 30 yard volley from Alonso for a brace to put the final goal tally at 5-0.

 

In the end, Cal FC could not match the quality put on the pitch by Sounders, they had been fortunate in Portland, but their improbable run came to an end. For Eric Wynalda it must be vindicating to have had this historic success, although it is yet another finger stuck into the eye of the soccer establishment that has yet to promote it’s prodigal son to a position of authority in MLS or US Soccer.

 

UPDATE: Someone finally put this goal on YouTube

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Sounders Win Third US Open Cup

Posted on 05 October 2011 by Kyle Alm

Seattle Sounders have won the US Open Cup in each of the three years of their existence in MLS. Continue Reading

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