Nate Jaqua of the Seattle Sounders has won TheCup.us Player of the Round award for his two-goal performance in the semifinals of the 2010 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Jaqua scored two of the Sounders’ three goals in a 3-1 win over Chivas USA to punch their ticket to their second straight Open Cup final. He edged out teammate Steve Zakuani for the honor, who assisted on two of the three goals.
The Player of the Round award is voted on by the staff at TheCup.us and a select panel of members from the North American Soccer Reporters.
Jaqua’s first goal was set up by Zakuani 10 minutes into the match. Zakuani made a run down the left wing and near the touch line, sent a cross into the box where he found Jaqua for the opening goal. Fredy Montero would add a second goal in the 59th (assisted by Zakuani), and Jesus Padilla pulled one back for Chivas USA in the 66th, but Jaqua would put put the game away in second half stoppage time.
With his second straight two-goal performance, Jaqua now has five goals, tying him with Miami FC’s Paulo Araujo Jr. for the tournament lead. The former University of Portland star now has seven career Open Cup goals, which ties him for 7th place on the Professional Era (1995-present) goalscoring chart.
Jaqua has a habit of scoring goals in big games in this competition. Prior to this year, his other two goals in tournament play helped his team win an Open Cup championship. Last year, he scored the opening goal in the Sounders’ 2-1 semifinal win over the Houston Dynamo. And back in 2006, Jaqua scored the first goal for the Chicago Fire against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Open Cup final
When the Sounders take on the Columbus Crew at Qwest Field on October 5 for the Open Cup championship, it will be the fifth time in eight years that a team Jaqua is playing for has reached the final.
Nate Jaqua’s Open Cup goalscoring record
2010 Semifinals (Seattle Sounders): 2 goals in 3-1 win vs. Chivas USA
2010 Quarterfinals (Seattle Sounders): 2 goals in 2-0 win vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
2010 Third Round (Seattle Sounders): 1 goal in 1-1 draw vs. Portland Timbers (SEA advanced 4-3 in PK shootout)
2009 Semifinals (Seattle Sounders): 1 goal in 2-1 win vs. Houston Dynamo
2006 Final (Chicago Fire): 1 goal in 3-1 win vs. Los Angeles Galaxy