The defending US Open Cup champion Seattle Sounders returned to the semifinals with a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday night. In front of a sold-out crowd of 4,512 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash., Nate Jaqua scored a pair of second half goals and Terry Boss kept a clean sheet to preserve the win.
While the Sounders have officially said that the USL franchise’s history is separate from the MLS team, it’s worth noting that this is the fourth year in a row that a team with the nickname of “Sounders” has reached the final four. Only the Chicago Fire (2003-2006) of Major League Soccer have accomplished that feat, winning the tournament in 2006 and 2003 and falling in the championship game in 2004.
The first goal didn’t arrive until the 50th minute when Seattle’s Miguel Montano fired a shot that hit the crossbar, and Jaqua was at the right place at the right time as he headed the loose ball into the back of the net.
About 12 minutes later, Montano created a second by sending in a cross from the left wing, finding Jaqua whose diving header gave the home team a two-goal cushion.
Boss only had to make two saves as the Sounders defense held the Galaxy to only 10 shots for the entire match.
Seattle will return to the Starfire Complex for the semifinals on September 1 as they will host Chivas USA, who are making their first-ever appearance in the final four. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 p.m. While this will be the first meeting between Seattle and Chivas in the Open Cup as MLS franchises, the USL Sounders eliminated Chivas in 2007 and 2008.
SEA – Nate Jaqua 2 (Unassisted) 50’
SEA – Nate Jaqua 3 (Miguel Montano 1) 62’
LA – Alex Cazumba (Yellow Card) 45’
LA – Bryan Jordan (Yellow Card) 70’
SEA – David Estrada (Yellow Card) 89’
LA – Alan Gordon (Yellow Card) 89’
LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo (Sean Franklin 71’), Omar Gonzalez, Eddie Lewis; Chris Klein© (Dema Kovalenko 69’), Bryan Jordan, Jovan Kirovski (Juninho 72’), Alex Cazumba; Clint Mathis, Alan Gordon.
Subs Not Used: Donovan Ricketts, Todd Dunivant, Michael Stephens, Tristan Bowen.
Seattle Sounders FC: Terry Boss; Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl; Sanna Nyassi, Nathan Sturgis, Mike Seamon (James Riley 78’), Miguel Montano (Leo Gonzalez 71’); Roger Levesque, Nate Jaqua© (David Estrada 86’).
Subs Not Used: Kasey Keller, Steve Zakuani, Pat Noonan, Fredy Monteo.