U.S. Open Cup

Who will win the U.S. Open Cup?


Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com

Either way, history is going to made in Seattle Tuesday night.

Should the host Seattle Sounders defeat the Chicago Fire in the U.S. Open Cup final (10 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel), then they'll put the finishing touches on a three-peat, something that has never been done in the Major League Soccer era and hasn't been accomplished since Greek American AA did so in 1967-1969.

The Fire, however, can win their fifth title, which would tie them with Bethlehem Steel and Maccabi Los Angeles for the most tournament championships all-time.

So who will win the 2011 U.S. Open Cup? Let's take a closer look at the two finalists:

Of the two teams, Chicago had the easier road in qualifying for the final, defeating the Rochester Rhinos, a watered-down version of the New York Red Bulls and the Richmond Kickers en route to the title game.

Seattle topped regional foe Kitsap Pumas before overcoming Western Conference powers Los Angeles Galaxy and FC Dallas in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, respectively.

The Sounders are balancing three competitions, having qualified for the knockout stage of the CONCACAF Champions League while also maintaining hope of catching the Los Angeles Galaxy for the MLS Supporters' Shield. Between injuries and schedule congestion, the club's depth has been tested all season long, and it hasn't hurt the team's form in the least.

Seattle certainly has the edge in terms of having home-field advantage and an overall better season, amassing 57 points through 31 games in comparison to Chicago's 37 points in that same amount of time. In terms of head-to-head matchups, Seattle defeated Chicago, 2-1, in Seattle on April 9, and the two teams played to a 0-0 draw at Toyota Park on June 4.

Chicago, meanwhile, is still unexpectedly alive in the postseason hunt after a late-season surge has seen Frank Klopas' squad go 6-1-3 in its last 10 matches. Riding red-hot Golden Boot candidate Dominic Oduro and recent hat-trick hero Marco Pappa, Chicago is hardly the pushover it was earlier in the season and should be able to give the Sounders a better fight than might have been expected when the teams qualified for the final on Aug. 30.

With a crowd of more than 35,000 expected at CenturyLink Field, it promises to be a special night in the Pacific Northwest regardless of the outcome. Who do you think will win the match?

Cast your vote here:


How did you vote? How do you see tonight's final unfolding? Do you think the Sounders will finish off the three-peat? Or will the Fire win their fifth title?

Share your thoughts below.

  • mikey

    The Fire have been on a good run lately; only two teams have been better over the last month.

    One of those two teams? Seattle.


  • Poo

    got to respect the sounders fans and soccer community there in Seattle. 35,000 for an open cup game is incredible.


  • Khan

    Lot of Sounders fans on this site. Chicago is the hottest team in MLS, you have to like them for this match.


  • otergod

    “Chicago is the hottest team in MLS”

    If you had said this back in July/August i think you’d be laughed off the interweb. However, what a change the past 2 months have been for Chicago.

    This ought to be a good match. But Go FIRE!


  • philmatt24

    Teams submit bids to host; Seattle put up the most money. Not a perfect system, but they “earned” the home game.


  • SWED

    Fire have been hot but so have the Sounders. Thus, it doesn’t come down to which team is in the best form but rather which team is simply the better quality team. Sounders are that team.


  • A wise man once

    I really hope the Fire win, or the Sounders fans will become even MORE unbearable -_-‘


  • kar

    Had to vote for my Chicago Fire even though it’s tough to call against the Sounders with their turf and home crowd . . .

    Still lingering question over key player fitness on both sides of the tilt as well — I see big issues for Chicago if Grazzini can’t go 60+ minutes.

    In the end I’m really hoping for an exciting game (and no referee contraversy).


  • Felix

    My head tells me the Fire with a gimpy Grazzini don’t beat the Sounders at home, even without Rosales. My heart says the Fire win their 5th Cup with their newfound form and the Sounders with their fixture congestion.

    I hope for a Fire win tonite!!


  • Matt (NEF)

    Got my tickets and ready for a show tonight!

    The crowd was electric last year and both Columbus and Seattle fed off it to play a fantastic championship game. I have a feeling that will also happen tonight.

    Alot of pride on both sides and Seattle will hoist the Cup in the end.

    Seattle 3 Chicago 1


  • aaron singer

    I had FSC last week, but moved and no longer get it.

    I’ll have to find a stream or something. :(

    Go Fire!


  • Charles

    Whenever there is a Seattle article I see obnoxious post about obnoxious Seattle fans….without the obnoxious Seattle fans. Let me chang that….

    46 minutes for someone to insult the Seattle fans.

    Come on A Wise Man, we expect better ( actually worse ) from your type.

    The city ( those that care and a lot do ) is very excited over the game. I personally can’t wait……8 hours !!!



  • DG in the twomp to the two times three

    Will be there tonight supporting the rave green. Fredy is hot, and he is about to score 7 tonight. Bring it, this is our year!


  • g?

    Why I didn’t go last year is beyond me, now that I live outside the country and would have to be up at like 3:30 to see it on a stream.

    Though I still might :P



  • Sticky

    What are you trying to say? Step back from the keyboard, take a deep breath to compose your thoughts, and then begin typing. There. That’s better isn’t it?


  • otergod

    lol, i pay for MDL and unfortunately live in an area where Comcast Sportsnet Chicago is available but not with my provider so those games are blacked out until 48 hours later. I have to catch EVERY fire match not on ESPN/ESPN2 or FSC on a stream….. or at a bar.


  • cisco2k

    Thats the projected sales. They will keep selling tickets as long as people buy them. Lower bowl is sold out and they opened the upper deck now.


  • Rev up those Revs

    Fans aside, the Sounders are good for soccer in America. Just ignore the fans and you’ll be fine. Or choose to suffer your call. After all a wise man should know that Sounders fans are only unbearable if you seek them out and allow them into your consciousness.


  • Shadowdub

    What exactly do Sounders fans do that makes them so unbearable? I keep seeing that complaint on this board, but don’t see any fans acting like jackasses here.


  • Chicago Mike

    So full 60k + is possible? Anything close to that would make for incredible experience for sure!! any projections for away supporters?


  • lassidawg

    I’ll try

    Everyone non sounder fans feels as though Sounders fans believe we created soccer in the US.

    In reality it is a little bit of envy because the Sounders have a front office that is creative and done a great job of building a franchise that is only 3 years old.

    I may not like the guys to the south, and I would never rip on them for anything other than they are from Portland, however it is great for soccer that they support and have always supported their team.

    Have we been spoiled by early success, probably but I would rather be spoiled than go through what the other expansion teams have been doing.


  • lassidawg

    Ownership said no one would be turned away. If the game were on a weekend I would guess they would fill the stadium.

    I think I heard the game against SJ on the 15th is approaching 45K. (Keller’s last game)


  • Charles

    Stinky ? Is that you ?

    I am not TRYING to say anything, I AM saying the Seattle fan are not obnoxious, the people saying they are, are obnoxious.

    Not to hard to understand is it ?


  • Foxy Knoxy

    I just scored a pair of Killer tickets– right behind the Section 8/TA fans.



  • Rev up those Revs

    Agreed. If you search message boards long enough you can find jerks in any fan base. It all comes down to confirmation bias and people creating the reality they want to believe. Unfortunately most sports fanatics are lower level thinkers, which limits their self awareness.

    If you create the psychological state it will become a physical fact. What you see in the visible world starts in the invisible world, in the mind.


  • Soccer!Steve

    I just saw about 50 fire supporters marching down 5th ave towards the stadium. They were very loud and had flag and many in here thought it was an Occupy ___ protest at first. I could see other people in surrounding building checking it out. Can’t wait to head down there myself.


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