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Sounders defeat Fire to win third straight U.S. Open Cup

SoundersThreePeat (getty)



SEATTLE, WA - New York Greek American in the late 1960s. A St. Louis brewery side in the 1930s. The Seattle Sounders. After the Sounders topped the Chicago Fire 2-0 Tuesday night before a raucous, record-breaking crowd, those are the lone teams to three-peat in the 98-year history of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

As has been the case so often lately, Fredy Montero made the difference for the Sounders, breaking a tense scoreless deadlock with a goal from close-range in the 78th minute. Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson made a diving save on a Jeff Parke header off a corner kick, but Montero was lurking in front of the goal to finish off the deflection. The goal was Montero’s third in the Open Cup and comes off back-to-back braces in league play.

When Osvaldo Alonso provided the insurance goal in stoppage time with a beautiful dribble and shot, the celebration officially began as Sounders fans rejoiced at the making of history.

“I think our depth and being able to balance playing in so many competitions is a tribute to what the club has been able to build up over three years,” said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, who has now won trophies in each of the past four years (having coached Columbus to the 2008 MLS Cup title).

“We have a lot of stars on this team, but the star of the team is the team.”

The Sounders, still missing Mauro Rosales thanks to a knee injury but otherwise at full-strength, controlled possession in the first half and created numerous chances. Solid work from Johnson in the goal paired with two shots off the frame kept the Sounders scoreless.

The Fire battled well until giving up the goal to Montero, countering Seattle’s assault with solid defending and the occasional counter attack. But poor passing doomed Chicago’s offense, with countless buildups fizzling as passes rolled out of bounds on the wet FieldTurf.

Alonso capped the scoring with an insurance goal off a beautiful run late in stoppage time, dribbling around two defenders and Johnson before scooting a shot into the net.

The trophy comes in the midst of what just might be a historic run for the Sounders. Seattle has already advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals next spring, won the Cascadia Cup with a victory in Vancouver two weeks ago, has qualified for the playoffs, and still has a slim shot at the Supporters’ Shield.

Not only did Seattle become the first MLS side to three-peat, the Sounders drew 35,615 fans to break the Open Cup attendance record it set last year.

The loss means Chicago will have to wait at least one more year to win its fifth Open Cup, a feat achieved by only two other squads in tournament history. Nonetheless, the Fire showed well in a tough environment, continuing to give their fans reason for optimism after a rough start to the 2011 campaign. The loss was their first in an official match since Sept. 10.


  1. It doesn’t seem to make much difference what the surface is, or where. They pretty much win games. But there is no place like home.

  2. As a fan of D.C. United(which has won every domestic and pretty much every regional cup a fan could want) I am impressed with Seattle’s 3 straight cups and the atmosphere at Century Link was great as usual. Congrats to them on all the accomplishments and hopefully an MLS team will rise to the top in the CCL too. That would be amazing! Good luck!

  3. It would be nice to get more TV coverage of this cup. I noticed FSC did a flashback to the 2009 cup final that Seattle won at RFK in its Fox Soccer Report which I thought was good of them.

  4. Now, if they can only get a real field to play on…the plastic pitch is awful, the ball bounces funny, and a little bird dies every time football is played on artificial turf…

  5. Most, if not all Section 8 fans there last night flew from Chicago. I know most of them. Maybe you saw some Portland fans in other areas, but the Fire section in the corner was from Chicago.

  6. Please keep posting. Your jealous whining and petty hatred only confirm how important this win really is. If it wasn’t important at all, it wouldn’t be worth your time to post.

  7. Love the posts Dan… your jealous whining and petty hatred is like music to my hears. It just confirms how important this win was.

  8. Mmmm EricBJ please keep posting. I love to hear your complaints. Your disappointment and jealousy are like music to my ears. It just confirms how glorious this truly is.

  9. Yes, thats exactly what it does. I dont know why you’re worrying about it anyway, it isnt like Portland will ever be playing in it.

    We hold trophies, you hold wood. Cup City > ‘Soccer City’

  10. Props to Seattle even though I was rooting against them. All they need is a natural grass surface to be a real team.

    Great 3 peat, Seattle. Slightly jealous of your success.

  11. Congrats to the Sounders and their fans, they played well and were the better team. (From a Fire Fan/Barnburner)

    I would like to see more importance put on the tournament by the other teams and the press. But the teams will need to get on board first. Hard to do with crowded schedules. The Fire have almost always kept it in high regard, as can be seen by their record.

    The field was/is terrible though, I thought there was a problem with the TV when I first saw it. It was a difference to the Fire passing. Played on a normal field the Sounders would still probably win but I think it would have been much closer. The Fire have really increased their quality of play & control lately.

    Congrats again to Seattle.


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