With the steady hands of goalkeeper Chris Eylander leading the way, the Seattle Sounders are on their way to a second straight US Open Cup Semifinal appearance, after defeating the Kansas City Wizards on penalty kicks after a scoreless draw.
Both teams had good opportunities to jump in the lead in the first half. In the 3rd minute, Seattle’s Andre Schmid found himself found himself one on one with Wizards goalkeeper Eric Kronberg, but as Kronberg came out to cut down the angle of the shot, Schmid sent the ball wide right of the goal. Nearly fifteen minutes later, Mike Kraus received a through ball from John Leathers, and shot point blank from the top left corner of the penalty area, but Eylander made a sliding save.
Near the end of the half, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar found Sebastian Le Toux in the box with a perfect through ball. Le Toux was brought down by Wizards defender Rauwshan McKenzie, but no penalty was called.
Midway through the second half, Seattle seemed to have the goal they were looking for, but were denied. Alcaraz-Cuellar again found Le Toux, who then chipped a shot over the head of Kronberg. As the ball moved towards an open net and a sure goal, defender Tyson Wahl cleared the ball off the line to keep the game scoreless. Seattle has not allowed a goal in any of their four Open Cup games this year.
After extra time ended scoreless, the match moved on to penalty kicks. After the first five rounds, both teams had converted four kicks apiece. Eylander saved the shot from Jimmy Conrad, and tournament goal scoring leader Le Toux missed his spot kick, hitting the underside of the crossbar. After Michael Harrington (Kansas City) and Yousouff Kante (Seattle) each converted their kicks in sudden death, Eylander denied the man responsible for keeping the game scoreless, Tyson Wahl. This left Zach Scott to put Seattle in the Semifinals, which he did by driving his shot high into the back left corner.
Seattle will now face the Charleston Battery in an all-USL First Division Semifinal, guaranteeing the league a spot in the US Open Cup Final on August 26.