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U.S. Open Cup Final: Match Night Commentary

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 The Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders both have a U.S. Open Cup Trophy in their trophy case, and each will have a chance to add a second tonight in the 2010 U.S. Open Cup Final (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Sounders will be seeking to become the third team to win back-to-back Open Cup titles, but will do so against a tough Columbus side that last won the trophy in 2002, when a Crew side featuring current Columbus head coach Robert Warzycha defeated a Sigi Schmid-led Los Angeles Galaxy.

Seattle will have the home edge tonight at Qwest Field and face a Columbus squad struggling in MLS play. The Sounders posted a 4-0 thrashing of the Crew in Columbus on Sept. 18th.

I will be providing live commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump):

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FINAL– The Sounders add another trophy to the trophy case and build some more momentum heading toward the post-season, where nobody is going to want to play them. For Columbus, it's back to the drawing board as the Crew tries to straighten things out before the playoffs.

That's all for me. Thanks for following along here and please feel free to share your post-game thoughts in the comments section below (and look out for Jose Romero's match report later tonight).

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FINAL- Sounders 2, Crew 0. Seattle with the deserving victory to win its second straight U.S. Open Cup title. Seattle was the better team all night as Sanna Nyassi and Steve Zakuani led the way tonight.

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94th Minute– Fredy Montero comes out and Nate Jaqua comes in. Party time is almost there in Seattle.

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93rd Minute– Final minute of stoppage time as Montero draws a free kick.

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92nd Minute– Less than two minutes to go.

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90th Minute– Levesque for Zakuani, deserved applause there.

Three minutes of added time.

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90th Minute– An Iro turnover gives it back to Seattle as the final minutes click away.

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87th Minute– Schelotto with the professional foul to stop a streaking Zakuani on a breakaway. Seattle can taste it now.

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85th Minute– Here comes Columbus, looking for the equalizer.

ROGERS OFF THE CROSSBAR!!! WOW, what a quick shot and Rogers NEARLY found the equalizer.

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83rd Minute– Count me as a Nkufo fan. He's a class player. Briliant soccer brain.

Seattle keeps applying pressure despite leading.

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82nd Minute– Anybody else reminded of DaMarcus Beasley when watching Shaun Francis move? Not that they're similar players, just the way they run.

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81st Minute– Rogers is in for Gaven. What does he have in the tank fresh off surgery? We will soon find out.

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79th Minute– Talk about bad luck for Seattle. Montero has a good look at goal but his shot hits Nkufo in the head.

Alvaro Fernandez comes in for Nyassi, who gets a deserved applause from the Qwest Field crowd.

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78th Minute– Double sub for Columbus. Andres Mendoza and Emilio Renteria coming in for Steven Lenhart and Kevin Burns. Serious infusion of attacking ability for Columbus. Seattle's defense will be tested.

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75th Minute– Nyassi given a yellow for a foul on Ekpo. Seattle draws a dangerous free kick opportunity.

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74th Minute– Yellow card for Alonso.

Columbus has Robbie Rogers eligible to play. If he's fit, he needs to play to provide some spark to the Crew attack.

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73rd Minute– Sounders corner whipped in and Seattle has another corner.

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70th Minute– Columbus needs to add some attacking talent into the lineup. This current squad isn't getting it done.

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68th Minute– Smallest guy on the field makes the biggest contribution. Nyassi is the man tonight, though truth be told, Zakuani has been the best player on the field.

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66th Minute- GOAL SOUNDERS!!! And it's Nyassi AGAIN, buries a rebound after Zakuani headed a shot off the crossbar. Sounders 2, Crew 1. GREAT GAME!!

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65th Minute– If you are following my commentary tonight, please let me know in the comments section, and let me know where you're following from.

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64th Minute– Gaven with an off-target shot from long range that Keller handles easily.

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60th Minute– SAVE GRUENEBAUM, and it's Zakuani applying pressure again. Seattle looks poised for a goal.

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59th Minute– Seattle applying more pressure as Riley sends in a dangerous ball that's deflected for a corner. The corner doesn't go anywhere, but Columbus looked shaky on that set piece.

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55th Minute– More quality work from Nkufo and now Seattle earns another corner.

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52nd Minute– Tricky quick throw-in from Montero springs Nyassi, earning Seattle a corner kick.

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49th Minute– Lenhart with a flashing header sent wide. Columbus looks good early in the half.

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48th Minute– We're back and Columbus will be looking to keep more of the ball after being dominated in possession in the first half.

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HALFTIME– Sounders 1, Crew 1. Seattle were the better team, but the Crew deserve the tie right now. Columbus will need to play better in the second half though if a road victory is to be had.

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45th Minute– One minute of stoppage time.

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44th Minute– Nkufo is such a sharp player on the ball. He can score, but also sets up teammates extremely well.

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40th Minute– Carroll with a yellow card for fouling Zakuani. Seattle is on the hunt for a second goal

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39th Minute– Not te best play from Gruenebaum, who rushed out to punch a cross away, but never got back to his line. Cool finish from Nyassi.

How will Columbus respond? Seattle will keep the pressure on now.

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38th Minute- GOAL SEATTLE!!! And it's Nyassi, pouncing on a loose ball and hitting a perfect shot from 18 after Gruenebaum's punchaway isn't cleared out. Sounders 1, Crew 1.

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36th Minute– Columbus holding it together defensively, but Nkufo and Zakuani look very sharp. Chances will come.

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33rd Minute– Great pass from Zakuani to spring Nyassi. Seattle looking for the equalizer.

Zakuani and Schelotto are the best players on the field right now.

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32nd Minute– Alonso took a knee to the shin from Lenhart. He's getting treatment now. Seattle can't afford to lose him.

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28th Minute– Shaun Francis gets a yellow card for a foul that gives Seattle a decent free kick look from 25 yards out, above the right corner of the area.

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26th Minute– Seatte were clearly better in the first 20 minutes but couldn't put one in the net, now Columbus has gained some footing and have a goal. This will be a good game.

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25th Minute- GOAL CREW!! ANd it's Kevin Burns with the finish off a great sequence for the Crew. Lenhart lays it off to him, but Schelotto and Hejduk started that sequence. Crew 1, Sounders 0.

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23rd Minute– A yellow card for Nyassi for a foul on Gaven. Nyassi stuck a leg in, but Gaven dragged the feet. He never misses a chance to go to ground.

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20th Minute– GAVEN HIGH!! A clear look from Gaven goes begging after a beautiful sequence for Columbus. Schelotto sparked that one.

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19th Minute– Sounders dominating play, with Zakuani, Nkufo and Montero working hard to keep the Crew defense on its heels.

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16th Minute– Montero with a blast that forces a spilled save by Gruenebaum. Seattle has looked better early on. Zakuani is especially active.

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14th Minute– You can see Nkufo dragging Marshall out of the middle, which will create space for Montero to match-up with Iro. Carroll needs to provide support there to make sure Iro doesn't get isolated.

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10th Minute– Chad Marshall has a close watch on Nkufo. If that leaves Montero on Iro then the Crew could be in trouble tonight. Iro will struggle to deal with Montero's pace.

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8th Minute– Schelotto takes a knock. He needs to have a big game for the Crew to have any chance tonight. Seattle is on form and its defense has been solid lately. Without Schelotto, the Crew will find few chances.

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6th Minute– The battle in central midfield will be key tonight, with Osvaldo Alonso and Brian Carroll looking to control things in the middle.

As far as individual match-ups, Zakuani vs. Hejduk is a big one tonight, as is Gaven vs. Riley.

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5th Minute– Seattle is in the BRIGHT yellow, Columbus is wearing all black with yellow trim.

A great crowd at Qwest tonight.

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3rd Minute– Fredy Montero wasting no time putting pressure on the Crew. He looks good for a goal tonight.

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PRE-GAME– Okay folks, the trophy is on the line at Qwest Tonight. Here are the lineups:

SOUNDERS

——–Nkufo—–Montero——–

Zakuani————————-Nyassi

————-Alonso—Sturgis———

Wahl—–Ianni———Parke—-Riley

——————Keller—————–

CREW

——Lenhart——Schelotto———-

Burns—-Ekpo——-Carroll——Gaven

Francis—-Iro——Marshall——Hejduk

————-Gruenebaum——————-

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Comments

  1. If you have the time ahead of the match, try to march in with the fan parade. It starts 3-4 blocks directly north of the stadium, with a band, drums, flares, and raunchy chants (the tamest one I heard when something like “we are the sounders! We are the sounders! Nobody likes us! We don’t care!” My kids loved that one.

    The introduction of the players is like…well, I’ll let you experience it.

    enjoy…

    Reply
  2. yet there were many around here that didn’t think he was worthy of being a DP. Blaise is a beast at holding the ball and distributing it to Zak and Nyassi. Now that there is a player that can hold the ball the Sounders for the last few months have been able to take advantage of their speed on the outside

    Blaise gets manhandled throughout the game yet really doesn’t complain.

    As a season ticket holder I can say that was the most electric the stadium has been for a game in the 2 seasons that was fun.

    Kudos to ECS for getting everyone involved with their chant and songs

    Reply
  3. Congratulations, you and I are in what appears to be a very exclusive club of RI MLS fans. I’d say we now number in the low 20’s.

    Reply
  4. Ummmm the way I see it if they played in Columbus they might beat the Crew 4-0, OH WAIT that ALREADY HAPPENED!

    Stop trying to say it was unfair that “The Better team” should of had the home game, it was already decided before hand who would host the game. Seattle should of had it last year, more important like someone said earlier this isn’t an MLS event. Seattle had a much better performance in most of their USOC games from what I can remember?

    Reply
  5. Following from Olympia, WA. Thanks for the commentary Ives and my apologies for the confusion about whether you would be providing any.

    Reply
  6. The bid process has been the same for many years. Do we not all remember D.C.’s history of hosting so many matches over the years? If your team, I mean, the Crew, found it that important to host then they could have put in a higher bid.

    Also, did you not witness the 4-0 game recently in Columbus?

    Not to mention that the Open Cup is a US Soccer event, not an MLS event, so MLS standings should not come into affect. In fact, some could say that the defending champions should have the honor of hosting.

    Reply
  7. Because we all know that the crowd is really the one that decides the game, NOT the players on the field who, ya know, actually play the game……..

    Right.

    Reply
  8. How crappy is it that more USS politics decided that Columbus, the better team, deserved to be put at a massive away team disadvantage because of attendance numbers.

    Reply

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