The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
A chance to make history awaits Sounders FC on Wednesday night as the club attempts to become the first team in the 99-year history of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to win four consecutive championships. Seattle faces Sporting Kansas City in the final at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. PT.
The Rave Green will stay on the road to visit the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Wednesday’s match will be nationally televised on GOL-TV, and can be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM with Mark Rogondino and Kasey Keller on the call. Saturday’s match will be televised on KONG 6/16 with Rob Palmer and Kasey Keller calling the action, and can also be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM.
The busy stretch of five games in 15 days has started well for Sounders FC (10-5-7, 37 points) as the team has won three in a row, extending its unbeaten run to nine games (6-0-3), including six games (3-0-3) in league play. The six-game undefeated run is the second-longest active streak in MLS.
Sounders FC made a statement in a dominant 4-0 victory over the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening in front of a record crowd and national television audience. MLS Player of the Week Eddie Johnson scored his fourth game-winner of the season in the sixth minute, followed by three second-half strikes from Fredy Montero and first-timers Alex Caskey and Andy Rose. Mauro Rosales recorded two assists, bringing his season total to nine (tied-third in MLS).
Seattle’s newest Designated Player Christian Tiffert made his debut against the Galaxy, logging an impressive 25 minutes and nearly tallied his first goal.
The win marked the second of the season against Los Angeles, securing the season series for Sounders FC with one game remaining.
Three days prior, Seattle started CONCACAF Champions League group play with a 3-1 home win over Trinidad’s Caledonia AIA. Sounders FC will travel to Trinidad & Tobago on August 30 for the return leg of the four-round group stage.
Sounders FC now sets its sights on perhaps the biggest match in franchise history. With three Open Cup titles in its first three MLS seasons, Seattle looks to become the first club to accomplish the feat of four consecutive titles while Sporting hopes to win the second Open Cup title in club history after bringing home the trophy in 2004.
It will be the second time that Seattle will travel for the Open Cup final. Sounders FC previously defeated D.C. United, Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire in the championship game.
The five-game stretch will conclude on Saturday as Seattle takes its league-best four-game road unbeaten run to San Jose (13-5-5, 44 points) in a battle for West supremacy. The Earthquakes earned dramatic draw last weekend with a stoppage-time equalizer against Chicago. San Jose leads the league with 16 goals in the final quarter-hour.
Sounders FC will then return to the Emerald City for a rare one-game week as Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps FC visit CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT on Saturday afternoon.
In This Issue
* Sounders FC Fast Facts
* Scoring Goals and Winning Games
* Going for History
* How They Got Here
* Modern Era Open Cup Finals (since MLS participated in 1996):
* Flashback to Past Finals
* Cup Format Notes
* Open Cup History in Seattle
* Heading the Way
* Supa Fred
* Two Roomies Open Account
* The Rave Green Army
* Meet the Opposition
* Throw-ins: Montero on MLS36, Weber turns 29, Goal of the Week Candidates
Upcoming Competition Schedule (times are Pacific & subject to change)
Wednesday, August 8, 6 p.m. – Sounders FC at Sporting Kansas City, LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.
Saturday, August 11, 7:30 p.m. – Sounders FC at San Jose Earthquakes, Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Saturday, August 18, 1 p.m. – Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Saturday, August 25, 7: 30 p.m. – Sounders FC at Chivas USA, The Home Depot Center, Carson, CA
Thursday, August 30, 5 p.m. – Sounders FC at Caledonia AIA, Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, Trinidad and Tobago
Upcoming MLS Reserve League Schedule (times are Pacific & subject to change)
Sunday, August 12, 11 a.m. – Sounders FC at San Jose, Nutrilite Training Facility, San Jose, CA
Sunday, August 19, 11 a.m. – Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy, Starfire Stadium, Tukwila, WA
Sounders FC Fast Facts
* Only three teams have won their past two MLS games: Seattle, Houston and Montreal. Eddie Johnson and Houston’s Calen Carr are the only players to score in the last two games.
* Johnson, Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso and Alex Caskey have scored or assisted in the consecutive games
* Seattle’s Michael Gspurning (0.47) and Kansas City’s Jimmy Nielsen (0.91) are tied first and third, respectively, in goals against average. There has never been a keeper from outside the CONCACAF region to lead MLS in GAA at season’s end.
* All 10 Sounders FC victories this season have come when the team scores first. Seattle’s mark of 10-0-1 when scoring first is best in MLS.
* Sigi Schmid used the same lineup for the first time this year at Colorado and against Los Angeles. Schmid had previously used 21 different lineups through the first 21 games.
* Aside from Johnson (tied-fifth with 10 goals) and Mauro Rosales (tied-third with nine assists), Fredy Montero ranks in the Top 10 in several categories, including shots (83; 2nd), shots on goal (29; 5th), fouls committed (40; 10th) and fouls suffered (49; 4th)
* Sounders FC leads the league with 12 goals scored between the 61st and 75th minute mark
* Seattle is tied-first with Kansas City with just 238 shots against
Scoring Goals and Winning Games
The game is always more fun when the team scores goals and wins games, and Sounders FC has heated up over the summer months. The Rave Green scoring machine has scored multiple goals in the past six outings across all competitions, equaling 17 goals for an average of 2.83 goals per game. The team has scored multiple goals in half of their league outings (tied-fourth in MLS), and just five shy of the team’s best scoring season in 2011 (16 multi-goal games). The goals have turned to wins as Seattle has won three of its past four MLS contests, and six wins in the past nine across all competitions. Before the recent offensive spark, the Seattle attack averaged 1.65 goals per game, including two five-goal outputs in Open Cup play.
U.S. Open Cup Viewing Parties
Sounders FC will host several viewing parties throughout the Seattle-area for Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup final. The viewing parties are open to the general public at no charge. Sounders FC supporters will be able to watch the live coverage of the match. A full list of Sounders FC viewing party locations is below (all locations excluding George & Dragon are open to all ages).
George & Dragon – Seattle
Fado – Seattle
Kell’s – Seattle
Sweet Lou’s Pub – Seattle
O’Blarney’s – Olympia/Centralia
Field of Champions – Issaquah
Going for History
Since their inception in 2009, Sounders FC have sought to make history, both on the pitch and in the stands. The crowds have filled the stands for 61 consecutive sellouts, establishing season records for average attendance in each of the first three years. On the pitch, the Rave Green have proven the most successful expansion side since 1998, qualifying to the playoffs each season and winning three Open Cup titles.
Sounders FC will go for history again this season as the club attempts to become the first team in the tournament’s 99-year history to win three successive Open Cup championships. In 2011 Seattle became the first club in 42 years and fourth altogether to win the Open Cup three consecutive years. Historically, MLS teams have dominated the Open Cup since beginning their involvement in 1996, winning 15 of the last 16 championships, and the only exception was second-tier Rochester’s triumph 1999.
U.S. Soccer recognizes four clubs as three-peaters. The New York Greek-Americans completed the feat in 1967-69. The Fall River (Mass.) Marksmen won back-to-back titles in 1930-31, then moved to nearby New Bedford (Mass.) and became the Whalers before winning again in 1932. A new sponsor was the only change during the three-peat run of St. Louis Stix, Baer & Fuller and St. Louis Central Breweries from 1933-35.
How They Got Here
Seattle and Kansas City have taken similar paths to the 2012 Open Cup final. Both teams have three home victories to go along with a road win against an MLS opponent. Seattle has scored 15 goals in four matches while Kansas City has netted multiple goals in all four contests. Osvaldo Alonso leads all players with four goals and two assists while CJ Sapong is Kansas City’s leading scorer with three tallies. Both teams have been stingy defensively, allowing just two goals.
2012 Open Cup Results
Team Opponent Location Result
Seattle Atlanta Silverbacks Tukwila, Wash. W / 5-1
Seattle Cal FC Tukwila, Wash. W / 5-0
Seattle San Jose Earthquakes San Francisco W / 1-0
Seattle Chivas USA Tukwila, Wash. W / 4-1
Kansas City Orlando City Kansas City W / 3-2
Kansas City Colorado Rapids Kansas City W / 2-0
Kansas City Dayton Dutch Lions Kansas City W / 3-0
Kansas City Philadelphia Union Chester, Penn. W / 2-0
Modern Era Open Cup Finals (since MLS participated in 1996):
Just three teams have won the Open Cup final on the road in 16 championship games – two of which happened in the last five years. Seattle defeated D.C. United at RFK Stadium in 2009 to capture the club’s first Cup title.
Year Site Atten. Score
2011 Seattle 35,615 Seattle 2, Chicago 0
2010 Seattle 31,311 Seattle 2, Columbus 1
2009 Washington, DC 17,329 Seattle 2, D.C. United 1
2008 Washington, DC 8,212 D.C. United 2, Charleston 1
2007 Frisco, Tex. 10,618 New England 3, FC Dallas 2
2006 Chicago 8,151 Chicago 3, Los Angeles 1
2005 Carson, Calif. 10,000 Los Angeles 1, Dallas 0
2004 Kansas City, Mo. 8,819 Kansas City 1, Chicago 0 (aet)
2003 East Rutherford, N.J. 5,183 Chicago 1, New York 0
2002 Columbus 6,054 Columbus 1, Los Angeles 0
2001 Fullerton, Calif. 4,195 Los Angeles 2, New England 1
2000 Chicago 19,164 Chicago 2, Miami 1
1999 Columbus 4,455 Rochester 2, Colorado 0
1998 Chicago 18,615 Chicago 2, Columbus 1
1997 Indianapolis 9,776 Dallas 0, D.C. United 0 (4-2 pk)
1996 Washington, DC 7,234 D.C. United 3, Rochester 0
Flashback: 2009 Open Cup Final – Sounders FC 2, D.C. United 1 (Attendance: 17,329)
SEA-Fredy Montero 67′
SEA-Roger Levesque (Sebastien Le Toux) 86′
DC-Clyde Simms (Rodney Wallace) 89′
Lineup: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl, Leo Gonzalez; Steve Zakuani (Roger Levesque 74), Peter Vagenas, Osvaldo Alonso, Sebastien Le Toux; Fredy Montero (Brad Evans 78), Freddie Ljungberg
Flashback: 2010 Open Cup Final – Sounders FC 2, Columbus Crew 1 (Attendance: 31,311)
CLB-Mike Burns (Steven Lenhart) 24′
SEA-Sanna Nyassi 38′
SEA-Sanna Nyassi (Steve Zakuani) 66′
Lineup: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl; Sanna Nyassi (Alvaro Fernandez 79), Nathan Sturgis, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani (Roger Levesque 89); Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua 89), Blaise Nkufo
Flashback: 2011 Open Cup Final – Sounders FC 2, Chicago Fire 0 (Attendance: 35,615)
SEA-Fredy Montero (Jeff Parke) 78′
SEA-Osvaldo Alonso 96+
Lineup: Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Alvaro Fernandez (Erik Friberg 46), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Lamar Neagle, Mike Fucito (Roger Levesque 89), Fredy Montero
Cup Format Notes
If any U.S. Open Cup game is tied at the end of regulation, a 30-minute extra time period (consisting of two 15-minute halves) shall be played in its entirety. If the score is still tied at the end of the 30-minute extra time period, the game shall be decided by a penalty kick tiebreaker. Teams are limited to five foreign players on the 18-player match roster and only one assist is counted in the official records.
The Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 97 consecutive years dating back to 1914. It is the oldest annual tournament in U.S. team sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor longtime soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
Open Cup History in Seattle
A Seattle team has advanced to the Open Cup semifinals each of the last five years. Sounders FC won the title in 2009 and 2010. The USL-1 Sounders reached that stage in both 2007 (against FC Dallas) and 2008 (Charleston). Prior to the Sounders FC victory over D.C. United in 2009, the only Seattle club to qualify for an Open Cup final was the amateur Mitre Eagles in 1987. The Eagles fell to Club Espana of Washington, D.C., on penalties following a scoreless draw. While the NASL Sounders did not participate in the Open Cup, the A-League Sounders competed on an annual basis, beginning in 1995. They lost to El Paso in the semifinals that season, and also advanced to the final four in 1996.
Heading the Way
Eddie Johnson has become one of the league’s most dangerous goal scorers as he netted his 10th goal on the season (tied-fifth in MLS), earning him MLS Player of the Week honors. Johnson got Seattle another early lead with a goal in the sixth minute, finishing a Mauro Rosales cross with a strong header. He had a hand in two other goals as he found Fredy Montero at the top of the box before his goal and also helped set-up Alex Caskey’s goal after rushing the keeper. Johnson has scored six goals in his last seven league outings, and has scored seven of the team’s last 12 goals in MLS play. Seven of Johnson’s 10 goals have been headers, including his past five and six of his goals have been assisted by Rosales. With 10 goals through 19 games, Johnson tied Fredy Montero for the fastest to 10 goals in franchise history.
Fredy Montero added another magnificent strike to his highlight reel on Sunday night. Montero pounced on a loose ball in the box and quickly turned and fired a one-time shot to the near post, beating keeper Josh Saunders. It was Montero’s sixth of the season and 40th career MLS goal. He is the 16th all-time leading scorer among active players.
Two Roomies Open Account
Roommates Alex Caskey and Andy Rose do a lot together, and on Sunday night it translated to the pitch as both Sounders FC newcomers netted their first MLS goals. Caskey kicked things off with a 25-yard shot that sailed over the head of the goalkeeper and into the back corner of the net. He also helped created the scoring opportunity on Fredy Montero’s goal by rushing the oncoming keeper. Andy Rose followed suit at the end of the game with his first strike, giving him goals in back-to-back games after scoring against Caledonia in CONCACAF Champions League play. Rose also added two in the Open Cup, and Caskey also added an Open Cup goal.
The Rave Green Army
The Sounders FC faithful came out in full force on Sunday night, setting the mark for largest attendance in the 2012 MLS season with a crowd of 60,908. It was the second-largest attendance for an MLS match at CenturyLink Field. Seattle’s average home attendance this season is 41,480 – over 17,000 more than the next highest club (Montreal Impact – 23,628) and nearly three thousand more than Seattle’s 2011 average (38,498).
Kansas City Series Notes
Seattle owns a 5-1-1 all-time mark over Sporting KC in MLS play, outscoring their opponents 10-6. The teams battled to a 1-1 draw in Seattle in June. Previously, Sounders FC earned three late victories over Kansas City, most notably last year’s comeback victory in stoppage time at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. The two sides have also met twice recently in Open Cup play. Seattle knocked Kansas City out of the quarterfinals in 2009, 1-0. In 2008, the USL Sounders bounced Kansas City after a penalty shootout, with Zach Scott converting the decisive penalty.
About Kansas City
Sporting is currently tied for first place in the Eastern Conference and third overall with 40 points (12-7-4). They have been the strongest defensive team across the league all year, allowing just 21 goals (tied-first in MLS) and a 0.91 goals against average (first in MLS). They have allowed just seven goals and a 0.64 goals against average at home this season, where they have gone 6-3-2. However, they are winless in their last four matches (0-2-2) at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, scoring just three goals.
In Open Cup play, Kansas City has been dominant, outscoring opponents 10-2 in four games, three of which were at home. They have yet to surrender a goal against an MLS side in the 2012 Open Cup, defeating both Colorado and Philadelphia 2-0.
Coach Peter Vermes’ attack is led by seven-year MLS veteran Kei Kamara, who leads the team with eight goals and has added four assists in 2012. The Sierra Leone native has 28 goals and 14 assists in just his third full season with Kansas City. Second-year striker C.J. Sapong has five goals this season, but has not scored since June 16. Teal Bunbury, who had nine goals in 2011, has netted four this year, most recently the game-winner in a 1-0 win over New England on Saturday. Midfielder Graham Zusi leads the squad with nine assists in 2012 (tied-third in MLS), but has registered just one since June 16. In 2012 Open Cup play, Sapong leads the club with six points (two goals, two assists), while Soony Saad and Zusi have five (two goals, one assist).
Sporting has seen eight assists by defenders in 2012 MLS play, led by four from Chance Myers. Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen is third in MLS, but first among keepers with more than 11 starts, with a 0.91 goal against average. Nielsen has three shutouts in the 2012 Open Cup.
San Jose Series Notes
Sounders FC was unbeaten (2-0-1) in its past three matchups with San Jose until dropping the first MLS meeting of 2012, 1-0 in Seattle. Sounders FC leads the all-time series at 4-3-1. Seattle has been outscored by the Earthquakes, 10-9. One of Seattle’s most memorable wins was a 2-1 comeback victory in front of 64,140 in Kasey Keller’s regular season home finale on October 15, 2011. Seattle has recorded two shutouts in the series while Kansas City has three. Sounders FC will host the Quakes again on September 23.
About San Jose
San Jose currently holds the top spot in MLS with 45 points (13-5-5), but is riding a two-game winless streak (0-1-1). The league’s most dangerous offense has scored 45 goals and a plus-17 goal advantage, both first in MLS by a significant margin. The Quakes have been dominant at home, going 7-1-3 with a plus-13 goal advantage, while holding opponents to 0.85 goals per game at Buck Shaw Stadium. They rank first in goals (45), assists (50), shots on goal (129), and second in shots (350). Against Western Conference opponents, San Jose is 9-3-2 in 2012.
San Jose Notables
Frank Yallop’s potent attack is headlined by forward Chris Wondolowski, the league’s leading goal scorer with 17 goals in 2012. Alan Gordon is tied-eight in MLS with nine goals and Steven Lenhart has added seven. Gordon leads MLS with 0.98 goals per 90 minutes and Wondolowski is second with 0.81. Midfielder Marvin Chavez leads the club with nine assists (tied-third in MLS), while Shea Salinas and Steven Beitashour have added six. Chavez (0.64) and Salinas (0.57) rank first and third, respectively, in assists per 90 minutes. Wondolowski and Ramiro Corrales each have five assists, as well.
The Earthquakes defensive unit has contributed 18 points (two goals, 14 assists), and ranks ninth in MLS with a 1.22 goals against average. Goalkeeper Jon Busch, a 12-year MLS veteran, ranks third in winning percentage (.675) and tied-third in wins (11).
Sounders FC Adds Mario Martinez on Loan from Real España
Honduran midfielder Mario Martinez has joined Seattle Sounders FC on loan from Real España, the club announced on August 1. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms were not disclosed. Martinez will be added to the roster pending receipt of his P-1 Visa.
Real Salt Lake traded the no. 1 discovery priority on Mario Martinez to Seattle in exchange for a conditional draft choice.
Martinez, 23, recently finished competing for Honduras in the 2012 London Olympics, marking his second Olympics after participating in the 2008 Beijing games as a 19-year-old. Honduras qualified for the quarterfinals but fell to Brazil, 3-2, with Martinez scoring the opening goal.
The left-footed midfielder has played for Real España of Honduras since 2006, making more than 50 appearances for the Liga Nacional team based in his hometown of San Pedro Sula. Martinez spent the 2009-10 seasons playing on loan for Norwegian side Valerenga and Anderlecht of Belgium.
Martinez has 29 appearances for Honduras on the international level. He was a member of the U23 team that participated in the 2008 Olympics after winning the CONCACAF Men’s Pre-Olympic Tournament, and he has 17 appearances for the senior national team. Martinez began his youth career with Real España.
Recap: Seattle Sounders FC 4 vs. LA Galaxy 0 – August 5, 2012
Three second-half goals fueled Sounders FC to a 4-0 win over the LA Galaxy Sunday night on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero each scored while Alex Caskey and Andy Rose both netted their first career MLS goals.
The crowd of 60,908 was the largest in MLS this season, and second-largest all-time for an MLS game at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle extended its unbeaten streak to six games (3-0-3) in MLS, and nine games (6-0-3) across all competitions. Sounders FC now sits third in the West and sixth overall.
Johnson got Seattle an early lead for the second straight game. In the sixth minute, Osvaldo Alonso played a ball to Mauro Rosales up the right side, and the Argentine sent a cross into the box that found Johnson in traffic for a strong header inside the far post.
It was the 10th goal of the season for Johnson (tied-fifth in MLS). He has scored six goals in his last seven league outings, and has scored seven of the team’s last 12 goals in MLS play. Seven of Johnson’s 10 goals have been headers, including his past five.
With ten goals in 19 games, Johnson tied Fredy Montero for the fastest to 10 goals in franchise history.
Seattle doubled its lead in the 52nd minute when Caskey chased down a ball in the box but his attempt was blocked by LA keeper Josh Saunders. The ball then popped to Montero on the right side and the Colombian hit it off the half-volley and put it just beyond the reach of Saunders and into the net to make it 2-0.
It was Montero’s his sixth goal of the season and 40th in his MLS career.
Caskey then made it 3-0 in the 61st minute. Johnson made a run up the middle of the field and had the ball knocked away by a charging Saunders, but the clearance went right to the feet of Caskey who then chipped it in from 35-yards out for his first career MLS goal.
In the 88th minute, Rosales played to Marc Burch up the left side who then crossed to a streaking Rose. The rookie out of UCLA tapped it past Saunders to increase the lead to 4-0.
It was the first career MLS goal for Rose, who has four goals across all competitions in 2012, including goals in back-to-back games after scoring against Caledonia in CONCACAF Champions League play last Thursday.
Rosales now has a team-high nine assists, including six in his last six games. The reigning MLS Newcomer of the Year has assisted on six of Johnson’s ten goals in 2012.
Christian Tiffert made his Sounders FC debut when he came on for Brad Evans in the 64th minute. In the 69th minute, he and Rosales combined for a one-two to get the German a shot in the box, but it was blocked by Omar Gonzalez.
Michael Gspurning earned his fourth clean sheet of 2012, and his first since April 14. He led a defense that allowed just two shots on goal Sunday night. In the 72nd minute LA sent a dangerous cross to the far post, but the tall Austrian was able to punch it away amidst the crowd.
All 10 Sounders FC victories this season have come when the team scores first. Seattle’s mark of 10-0-1 when scoring first is best in MLS.
With a 2-nil win over the Galaxy on May 2, Seattle has already won the season series over the defending MLS Cup Champions. It is the first time in club history that Seattle has beat the Galaxy twice in one season.
On Friday, August 10 at 7:30 p.m. PT, NBC Sports Network will air the second episode of MLS 36, which will depict Seattle Sounders FC striker and Colombian star Fredy Montero in the 36 hours ahead of Sounders FC’s Herbalife World Football Challenge face-off against Chelsea FC on July 18. Montero scored two goals in the match against Chelsea…Andrew Weber will celebrate his 29th birthday on Thursday, August 9…A year ago today Sounders FC earned a memorable 2-1 comeback victory at Kansas City. Mauro Rosales scored and assisted in stoppage time to give Seattle the late win…Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero are nominated for MLS Goal of the Week…Rose is now one game away from receiving the good behavior incentive rollback to three cards. Marc Burch, Fredy Montero and Zach Scott each have three cards…Taylor Graham play for Kansas City’s 2004 Open Cup champion team.