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Sounders hammer Fire, return to U.S. Open Cup final



Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG. Photography


The Seattle Sounders are headed to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final for the fifth time in their brief six year history.

An early tap-in from Chad Barrett triggered a cascade of goals that featured braces from Andy Rose and Kenny Cooper and ended with a 6-0 Sounders victory over the Chicago Fire in front of 4,361 at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash.

Cooper also provided a pair of assists, as did Marco Pappa.

“Sometimes when it rains,” said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, “it pours.”

The Sounders, who won the Open Cup in 2009, 2010, and 2011 before falling to Sporting KC in 2012, will face the Philadelphia Union in the tournament final on Sept. 16 at PPL Park in Chester, Penn.

The Union punched their ticket to the final on Tuesday, dispatching FC Dallas on penalties in the other semifinal match.

Barrett opened the scoring in just the sixth minute, sneaking behind Chicago’s central defenders to scoop a Cooper through-ball into the net from just two yards out.

It was not the last time center backs Bakary Soumare and Jeff Larentowicz were caught out of position.

Rose, starting just his second match of the season in any competition, then added a pair of goals to put the match out of reach.

In the 33rd minute, Rose found himself unmarked at the back post on a Marco Pappa corner kick and sent an inch-perfect header just inside the frame.

A Pappa cross in the 54th minute once again found Rose unmarked at the corner of the 6-yard box, and once again Rose’s header beat goalkeeper Sean Johnson, putting the Sounders up 3-0.

“He’s been held back with injuries and trying to get his fitness back,” Schmid said about Rose after the match. “Andy is great, when he can come forward he is dangerous on set pieces like he is, and I thought he played some good balls in.”

Late substitute Obafemi Martins added the fourth goal on a 79th-minute counter. After forcing a turnover near midfield, Martins then received a backheel from Cooper, rounded Johnson, and finished into an empty net from 8 yards out.

Martins will miss Seattle’s weekend tilt against Real Salt Lake with a red card suspension.

Cooper finally ended the scoring with a pair of late goals. The big striker first headed home a beautiful 82nd-minute cross from DeAndre Yedlin, then just two minutes later sprinted onto a Martins through-ball that left him alone against Johnson for the sixth and final goal.

“I think (I’m) just shocked and stunned with the result,” said Fire head coach Frank Yallop, “but I just think Seattle was better in every sort of department. So that ends up a rout, which in the semifinal of anything is shocking. It’s not good.”

Both teams fielded mixed but strong lineups. Key absences included Mike Magee for Chicago, and Clint Dempsey, Leo Gonzalez, Djimi Traore and Chad Marshall for Seattle. Magee sat with a red card suspension.

The Sounders are now 17-0-1 at home in the U.S. Open Cup. They are also 11-0-1 at home against MLS opponents in the tournament, and have outscored MLS teams 31-7 in those 12 matches.

The lopsided result belied a competitive first half. Seattle only outshot Chicago 8-6 in the first 45 minutes, and goalkeeper Stefan Frei delivered diving saves to deny Quincy Amarikwa and Larentowicz.

Yallop, for one, harbored no delusions that a first-half strike would have made a difference.

“Whether we scored or not,” he said, “I don’t think it would have changed anything. It would have been 6-1. So, no you have to look at it as a whole. We’ve been battered by a good team at their place and that’s all you can say about that.”

Looking forward, both teams are back in action on Saturday. The Sounders visit Real Salt Lake in a matchup of the two best teams in the Western Conference, while Chicago looks to keep its playoff hopes alive with a visit to the Montreal Impact.

Here are the match highlights:


  1. I would like to hear from any Chicago Fire seaon ticket holder who actually plans to sign up again fro next year. The thinking behind purchasing season tickets for this club would be really interesting. I don’t think I have ever seen an American sports franchise that disdains its own supporters more than the Chicago Fire.

    • In my book when you are a fan, you are a fan and take the good times with the bad.

      I don’t respect the owner, dislike how the team is playing, question some personnel moves, hate this seasons results but . . .

      Fire ’til I die

      • I would suggest that the best way for a true Fire fan to respond to the way things have gone over the past 7 years is to NOT buy team merchandise or attend matches until the front office makes real changes, or the current owner sells the team. “Supporting” the way this team is being run only hurts the club in the long run.

      • /shrug

        I’ll register my displeasure through other means – some will have financial impact and most won’t…

        Personally, I refuse to desert the players in an attempt to find leverage with the owners.

        And food for thought: one possible outcome of fans taking your suggestion en masse would be the team moving out-of-state due to “lack of support.” The idea of Chicago not having an MLS team (or at least a team playing in the MLS) is completely unacceptable to me.

  2. Better process no wwith the coin flip.
    Schedule works out well as can be for Seattle, and for those who can travel it could be a could 2 game road trip. 09/16 in Philly, and then 09/20 in NYC.

    It sure is nice to have the depth to not have to use the starting forwards for all but 15 minutes. and throw in the allocation money from Yedlin depth shouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

    • The Sounder’s depth is unbelievable, is it money, great front office, or both ?

      Look at Chad Marshall. No one wanted him ? He is phenominal and would be one of the first people I picked forming a team.

      He ends up in Seattle this year.

      • money doesn’t really help much when you have a salary cap. However, some players may take less to play in a top notch organization that also wants to win.
        While not every reclamation project works, it seems Seattle has been pretty good at identifying them; EJ, Cooper, and Barrett. And adding Marshall, maybe Frei, and Pappa have been good. Lamar Neagle to some extent, he has bounced around.

      • their depth does look impressive but its not like any other team couldn’t have players of this caliber… mostly a bunch of players let go by other teams; frei, marshall, evans, cooper, barrett and players signed from lower leagues or homegrown; alonso, rose, scott, yedlin, okoli, etc..

        whats impressive is how they can take a good team and make them nearly unbeatable in this competition.. and how other teams with multiple big name players or even similarly built teams are consistently blown out by NASL and USL teams.

  3. its mindblowing that chicago hired yallop. as a quakes fan i’m quite aware that we won two cups with him, BUT those were different times, as mls was much more one dimensional. on one hand the league has grown tremendously, while on the other he (yallop) has stayed on mls 1.0. chicago deserves much, much more than a mediocre coach leading that team and town.

    • Dont forget best regular season record in 2012.

      I agree though, some people have been left behind by the massive gains in US soccer.
      I am in the minority, but I think Sigi is walking the fine line too.
      Is it massive amounts of talent, or Sigi starting to keep up ?

      He has the most wins in MLS history, but I bet there are 5 new MLS coaches out there that most would pick over him.

  4. I say Seattle don’t get open cup but it will be their wake up call and might win SS and might get to MLS cup.
    As for Chicago, wow they really suck. A big city like Chicago and being a super soccer market , can’t not have a pathetic team, incompetent owner, and a coach who deserves to coach in NASL.
    MLS and garber need to save Chicago, red bull( rebrand & ownership), Denver but really those 3 markets need to be save and given a warning. The big markets have zero excuses and the small markets have plenty of excuses.
    Another thing, those old school coaches like klopas, sigi, yellop, and even arena, aren’t gonna make it in MLS. Time is running out on those coaches.
    If I was Chicago, I would get jones, ronaldinho, because you freaking need them and do it for your fans.

    • Yeah it’s a real shame Chicago, Denver and NYC don’t have better support for their MLS teams. All those cities have the same amount or more of hipsters / millennials as Seattle and Portland. I think the common denominator is that none of them have stadiums in the city center. MLS was so desperate for soccer specific stadiums they didn’t care where they got built, they have learned their lesson I think as they are insistent that a Miami stadium be built downtown.

      • I don’t want to over react but Chicago fire are doom with their owner and stadium location.
        Chicago needs a rebrand, to save their glory and fans and they need to rent soldier field for some big games. When galaxy is in town or nycfc or red bull, head to soldier field and put cheap tickets on sale and pack the stadium like it was for World Cup.
        If Chicago keeps going down, rebrand and rent soldier field for some games.
        Red bull is just a gimmick team name and their owner cares less of the American team.
        Denver, wow, I don’t see nothing happening there. I also see a rebrand, Denver arsenal, Colorado arsenal. If man city is doing it right with nycfc, then it’s a matter of time for the Colorado rapids.
        But Chicago, wow, speechless 🙁 go get jones and ronaldinho ASAP

      • Bridgeview, Illinois isn’t a Super Soccer Market.

        If they had just built the stadium closer to town the Fire would be in a better position.

      • RBNY’s ownership and management surely could do a much better job of promotion, but by the end of the year they will again average around 20,000, which is better than, or not much worse than, every other team but Seattle. NYCFC’s struggles should tell you a lot about the perils of holding out for a stadium in the city center (although NYC is so big that any “center” is an hour away from many other parts of the city); they will be playing in a baseball stadium for the foreseeable future.

      • Ownership has no clue regarding the need to market the team in this area. There are tons of people who have no idea the team even exists. The area around the stadium still leaves a lot to be desired but they’re working on it. I’m thinking that in five years or so the area will have a lot more to offer and the renovated PATH station should make getting in and out a lot easier.

        Also, the fact this team has never had an English language radio deal is crazy. My understanding is that every NYCFC game will be on WFAN.

      • All true. There are so many things the team could do better. As a small exmple, they run buses from Newark Penn Station, but oftentimes the traffic iso bad that it’s faster to walk. Also, have they ever thought of buses from NYC — even free buses? Anything to persuade people to make the trek out to an undeniably beautiful stadium. Once you’re there, you’ll want to go back again. Another gripe: why do I still see posters around Newark with pictures of players from several years ago?

  5. I know people like to make fun of the Sounders playoff collapses but I respect a team that tries to win all their games in all competitions rather than certain teams that take extended sabbaticals and flip the switch for the playoffs only. It’s even more annoying when people laud this team and it’s players (including one in particular) for “growing the game”. I guess “growing the game” encompasses a complete rejection of the importance of the USOC/CCL.

    • i knock the sounders quite a bit but i have a lot of respect for their ability to play in all competitions, more than any other club.

      first time I saw them play they were a usl team and they destroyed Colorado in the Open Cup. I think they have a lot of respect for the competition and a desire to a big club that competes on multiple fronts. most of MLS is slowly getting around to that and its a real shame.

      one thing that has always struck me about them is that sure they have some big name players but the players who won the game today, and a lot of other days, were middle of the line MLS players.. the fan/fo/organization support and culture makes them better players.

  6. Oh it’s on! You know LeToux’s going to show you what’s what when Seattle comes to PPL Park! The King of the Open Cup is going to get another jewel on his crown!!!!

    • I miss LeToux, he had some hightlights in that stadium. 4-0 over Atlanta on the night they announced the MLS move anyone ?

      And I miss the LHUSOC trophy.

      I won’t be missing the trophy for very long.


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