Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Seattle does the U.S. Open Cup three-peat
by Ridge Mahoney, October 5th, 2011 1:30AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls, us open cup

MOST COMMENTED

[U.S. OPEN CUP] Seattle's history in the U.S. Open Cup pre-dates its admission to Major League Soccer, but it is three-for-three in the competition under the MLS banner. On Tuesday, the Sounders rewarded a record Open Cup crowd of 35,615 at CenturyLink Field by beating Chicago, 2-0, to win its third straight cup with goals by Fredy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso.

Frustrated by resolute defending by Chicago and two shots off the woodwork, Seattle had to labor for more than an hour before Montero pounced on a rebound to score the winner in the 79th minute. Workhorse midfielder Osvaldo Alonso capped off a magnificent performance by adding a second goal in the final seconds.

Injuries kept playmakers Mauro Rosales (sprained MCL) and Sebastian Grazzini. (hamstring) out of the starting lineup, and without those players to regulate tempo, the pace of the game seldom ebbed. Seattle eventually piled up a 24-8 edge in shots and if not for eight saves by Chicago Fire keeper Sean Johnson, it would have scored well before the 78th minute.

The Fire’s possession game seldom surfaced in a frenetically played first half blighted by numerous turnovers, yet it did occasionally slice into the attacking third. Its shots, though, came from distance, with Marco Pappa launching three efforts from outside the penalty area that goalie Kasey Keller handled easily. Seattle’s back line, led by centerback Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and left back Leo Gonzalez, squeezed the channels and pinched balls directed toward Dominic Oduro and Patrick Nyarko.

Seattle’s direct play, spearheaded by forward Mike Fucito, carried most of the momentum. He forced a brave save by Johnson on a ball headed into the goalmouth by Brad Evans and nailed a first-time shot Johnson charged out to block with his leg. Around the half-hour the Fire fought off a series of corners, the last of which presented a chance that defender Hurtado headed wide.

Fucito’s relentless pressing yielded another chance just before halftime. He ran down an errant back pass to drop a back-heel for Fernandez, who blasted a first-time shot from a tight angle that Johnson batted away and Fucito steered wide on the rebound. Montero threatened again in stoppage time when he cut inside Pavel Pardo and fired a low shot from about 25 yards that caromed off the base of the post.

Erik Friberg replaced Fernandez, bothered by a head injury, at halftime and took his spot on the right side of midfield. Seattle resumed attacking down both wings and hit the post again with another ball clipped behind the back line, this time by Lamar Neagle, down the left side. Fucito flicked a shot from a bad angle that bounced off the far post.

After an hour of play, Fire centerback Josip Mikulic went down with cramp and Jalil Anibaba joined Cory Gibbs in the middle. Seattle attacked again, but a Montero shot was blocked and Alonso shot wide. Later in the half, clearances and blocks and Gibbs and Anbiba fended off another wave of attacks, until another corner kick finally paid off.

Parke overpowered his marker to drive a header that Johnson’s lunge stopped but left on the doorstep, and Montero banged it in. A U.S. Open Cup record crowd of 35,615, decked mostly in green with dots of Fire red here and there, erupted at the breakthrough.

Fucito broke clear on the left in the 80th minute on a great through ball from Montero and instead of centering it for Evans, took the shot himself and sent it wide of the far post. Chicago struggled to get the ball past the center line and from a turnover, Friberg’s long low shot forced Johnson to the ground for the save.

Grazzini finally got onto the field in the 85th minute to join a previous substitute Diego Chaves, who had entered the game in the aftermath of Montero’s goal. A rough tackle by Anibaba on Fucito triggered a skirmish during which Alonso had to be restrained by his teammates. Referee Alex Prus cautioned by Anibaba and Alonso.

In the final seconds of regulation, Oduro got a header on frame from point-blank range, but a) the flag was up for offside, and b) Keller snared it anyway. Gonzalez shut off his last run, and the Fire’s last opportunity, deep into stoppage time, and with the last seconds ticking away Neagle played a ball inside to Alonso, who glided past three opponents on the dribble and calmly tucked the ball past Johnson.

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Final
Seattle 1, Chicago 0.
Goals:
Montero 79, Alonso 96+.
Seattle – Keller, Riley, Hurtado, Parke, Gonzalez, Alonso, Evans, Fernandez (Friberg, 46), Neagle, Montero, Fucito (Levesque, 92+).
Chicago – Johnson, Gargan (Grazzini, 85), Gibbs, Mikulic (Anibaba, 61), Segares, Pardo, Pause, Paladini Chaves (80), Pappa, Nyarko, Oduro.
Referee: Alex Prus.
Att.: 35,615.



0 comments
  1. Tim King
    commented on: October 5, 2011 at 11:20 a.m.
    It was an amazing evening! First rate, chippy at times, but truly a match that had all chanting and cheering until the end. Well done.

  1. Ryan Zimmer
    commented on: October 5, 2011 at 11:33 a.m.
    3attle! These Open Cup games are awesome!

  1. Scott Ellis
    commented on: October 7, 2011 at 4:32 p.m.
    I realize the huge crowds in Seattle justify the awarding of these matches to Seattle, but I thinks it is a definite asterix that they have played every game at home in this competition for the last two years, and most of them in the first year of this cup run. Correct me if I'm wrong on that one, but I'm pretty sure that is the case. Certainly all the later round matches except for the final in D.C. in the first championship. It can't be only about the money if you want a truly meaningful competition.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Michael Garcia    
"It is the lack of leadership on these issues within FIFA that leads me to conclude ...
Video Pick: Player loses his wig!    
The 19-year-old defender Baily Cargill was one of the top rated players for second division Bournemouth ...
MLS Trade Central: Wednesday's deals    
MLS and Chivas de Guadalajara reached an agreement regarding Mexican star Erick "Cubo" Torres, who played ...
NASL will open 2015 spring season on April 4    
The North American Soccer League will open its fifth season with the first week of the ...
Las Vegas gets its soccer stadium, too    
It isn't every day that two cities pass measures to build soccer stadiums. Hours after the ...
U.S. Abroad: Midweek Hot (and Cold) List    
John Brooks scored his first goal of the Bundesliga season for Hertha Berlin to open the ...
Road to Vancouver: More to Brazil than Marta    
Marta, whose magnificent performance powered Brazil past the USA Sunday at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia, ...
TV Report: Fox plans unprecedented coverage    
The 2015 Women's World Cup will receive unprecedented coverage on Fox as it will air 16 ...
Klinsmann red-carded in starring role against Germany    
Jonathan Klinsmann's first international match against Germany, the country his father, Jurgen, played for and coached, ...
Olsen sees new D.C. stadium as one piece of grand plan    
He's D.C. United through and through, so head coach and former player Ben Olsen knows better ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives