The Seattle Sounders became the first Major League Soccer expansion team since the 1998 Chicago Fire to win the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup when they defeated DC United 2-1 on September 2. There were many reasons for the Sounders’ run to their first trophy, but leading the way was the play of goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who has been named TheCup.us Player of the Tournament. Keller was in goal for all four of the Sounders’ narrow victories, each of them decided by a single goal.
Freddy Montero (left) scores the opening goal in the US Open Cup Final that helped Kasey Keller (right) lift the trophy. Photo: Seattle Sounders FC
There were a number of worthy candidates for the award, including teammates Sebastien Le Toux (1 goal, 2 assists — all game-winners), Roger Levesque (2 goals including the game-winner in the Final and the game-tying assist in the Semifinals), Montero (Goal in Final, Drew the PK in 1-0 Q-Final win vs. KC), DC United’s Boyzzz Khumalo (2 goals including late game-winner vs. Rochester in Semifinals) and Kenny Bundy of the Wilmington Hammerheads (2 game-winning goals).
Montero was named TheCup.us Player of the Round for the championship game. The Colombian was dangerous throughout his time in the match, but his performance highlighted by the opening goal in the 67th minute. Montero was also the unfortunate victim of a stomping by DC United goalkeeper Josh Wicks’ shortly after scoring the go-ahead goal. Wicks was sent off for the attack on Montero, giving Seattle a man advantage for the remainder of the Final.
The Player of the Round and Player of the Tournament awards are voted on by the staff of TheCup.us and select members of the North American Soccer Reporters, a group that consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information about the NASR can be found at www.soccerreporters.com. (Note: A new website for the organization is currently in the works)
The staff at TheCup.us would like to thank the great people at SoundersFC.com who took the time to interview the two award winners for us and produced the video you see above. Congratulations to the Sounders and best of luck in the 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League.