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West foes Seattle, Chivas USA set to meet in U.S. Open Cup semi

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 BY ADAM SERRANO 

For many teams, the U.S. Open Cup is a tournament that can be glossed over as a distraction to the already jammed pack calendar. For the Seattle Sounders and Chivas USA, each club will have a chance to do something historic. 

With a victory, the Sounders will have a chance to return to the Open Cup final for the second year in a row and appear in a major final in front of their own crowd. For Chivas USA, the club will have a chance to appear in the first final in team history, a fact that is not lost on head coach Martin Vasquez.

"I think this is the biggest match in our history," said Vasquez after the club's 1-0 victory over D.C. United on Saturday. "We're going to leave our last drop of effort on the field because our guys understand and know how important this match is because if we win, we're in our first final."

Chivas USA qualified for the semifinals after defeating second division Austin Aztex and the Houston Dynamo. The Rojiblancos have had the most success against the Sounders since the club entered the league. Since Seattle entered MLS, Chivas USA have tallied a 2-0-2 record against the Northwest club and remain the only team in the conference to have not lost to the Sounders. In fact, the last loss that the Rojiblancos suffered against Seattle came to the USL version of the Sounders in 2008, when Seattle defeated them in the Third Round of Open Cup play. 

That loss came at the Starfire Sports Complex just outside of Seattle where Wednesday's match will also take place. Only three Chivas USA players remain from the side that lost to the Sounders, one of them Captain Jonathan Bornstein admits that the club can will be getting no favors from the defending Open Cup Champions. 

"We've never had good success against them in open cup in the past," said Bornstein. "We've played at Starfire before and know about the circumstances of the stadium, but we must try to carry our success against them in MLS play over to the Open Cup."

For the defending champions, the Sounders are in the Open Cup Semi Finals for the third year in a row. Seattle has struggled in regular season matches having failed to score in the last four matches against Chivas USA. However, Seattle has surged forward in the Open Cup defeating arch rival Portland Timbers and putting in a dominant performance against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The Sounders enter the match having just extended a five match undefeated run in MLS league play with an emotional 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire. Responsible for this success has been the play of forward Fredy Montero who has been on a scoring tear as of late. After a poor start to the season, the mercurial Colombian has put a fire in what was a stagnant Sounders attack.

Both clubs will be without the services of several of their reserves as midfielders Osael Romero and Sanna Nyassi — for Chivas USA and Seattle respectively — will be unavailable due to international duty. Chivas USA may also be without key midfielders Sal Zizzo and Blair Gavin, who are doubtful due to injury. 

Should the Sounders defeat Chivas USA, Seattle will host the U.S. Open Cup Final on October 5th no matter what the result in the Columbus Crew vs. D.C. United match. If the Rojiblancos were to qualify for their first final, then they may be able to host the final at the Home Depot Center if the Columbus Crew defeats D.C. United. 

Comments

  1. Seriously. Not much love for the Sounders tonight from the SBI crew. A running thread for the Crew game but not the Sounders game, and recaps of both the Crew and Superliga matches, but no Sounders recap. I’m so upset I’m going to have a hard time falling asleep.

    Tickets go on sale to season-ticket holders tomorrow at 10 a.m., and to the rest on Tuesday at the same time. Let’s set another attendance record, people. Strike that, let’s blow the record out of the water.

    (SBI-We had someone at the Crew and SuperLiga games, but not in Seattle. That said, we did get a lengthy game story up on the Seattle game from Jose Romero, just took a while to get up. We’ve got Seattle covered, just be a little more patient next time.)

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  2. As far the USOC last year: DadRyan, a frequent commenter here, recently reminded me that game would have been scheduled at 1 pm on a weekday afternoon because of scheduling conflicts here in Seattle. I’m not sure the attendance would have been what you suggest.

    And I wouldn’t read too much into the attendance numbers at the friendlies this year (only one of which was a Euro team, by the by). The drop doesn’t reflect any weakening fan interest, but lower profile opponents: Boca Juniors and Celtic are great teams, but they’re no Barca or Chelsea.

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  3. actually, it makes perfect sense…starfire is a tiny field, dimensions-wise. may be smaller than community america in kansas city. no space to move around and the matches are incredibly physical as a result. and the field turf is notoriously sub par by MLS standards, even though it’s supposedly the same as the turf in qwest. however, during a rain storm yesterday, sigi said the field was puddling in places. not good.

    so yes, the stadium and turf are factors, and thus the quote from bornstein. consider yourselves educated.

    GO SOUNDERS!

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  4. Homeboy is still not match fit.

    I mean he’s coming off of major knee surgery. I know the club has activated him for the season, but I don’t think he’s still 100%.

    That said, if he could physically play, Vasquez would play him and start him.

    Beleive me, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that he’ll play this season.

    We need a little help. LOL!

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  5. “We’ve played at Starfire in the past and a lot of know the circumstances and the field and carry our success against them in MLS play over to the Open Cup .”

    Sorry… what?

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  6. BTW, since entering the league, Seattle has yet to score a single goal on Chivas USA.

    I’m just sayin.

    Vamos Chivas!

    Ives loves NYRB!

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  7. Chivas will surely be the under dog tonight.
    Everyone wants the Sounders to win.
    This MLS fan doesn’t and will be pulling for the goats.

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  8. Last year I had no doubt Qwest would be sold out for the USOC final. Not sure about this year given that their two Euro friendlies were less than 50k. Although all this exciting winning at home lately should get the fan base excited.

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  9. If Seattle beats Chivas USA tonight, the final at Qwest Field promises to be the most attended US Open Cup final ever … or at least I would imagine. Would be an exciting atmosphere to say the least.

    Would love to see it. They gotta win tonight though.

    Reply

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