For the first 45 minutes, US Open Cup darlings Cal FC held their own against three-time defending champions Seattle Sounders. However, in the second half, the floodgates opened for the Sounders, as they poured onto the twine, rolling to a 5-0 win at Starfire Sports Complex in suburban Tukwila, Wash. The Sounders scored all of their goals in a 20-minute span, and then continued to hold the majority of possession until the end, as the defense proved to be lock-tight in the few possessions Cal FC managed to control in the game.
With the club extending its Modern Pro Era record unbeaten streak to 19 games, and their home unbeaten streak to 14, the Sounders will hit the road for the first time since 2010 when they face the San Jose Earthquakes in the Quarterfinals on June 26.
The first half was uneventful, as Seattle controlled possession, but could not break through. Cal FC wisely chose to place most of their team in their half of the field, as they could not solve the Sounders’ defense in the rare occasions they were able to get the ball to the offensive end. Seattle kept possession and kept attacking, giving Cal FC keeper Derby Carirllo much more of a workout than he faced against the Portland Timbers last week.
Everything came to a head in the second half, as the Sounders earned a penalty shot in the 50th minute. Osvaldo Alonso shot it hard to the bottom left, and Carrillo did everything he could to get a hand on it, but couldn’t stop the ball from going into the left-side bottom corner to finally put the home side up. From there, the Sounders took advantage of the lapse in confidence of Cal’s team to full effect. Open Cup hero Fredy Montero received a gorgeous pass from Cordell Cato off an interception, and slotted the ball past Derby at the 58-minute mark to double the lead.
From then on, it was a Sounders storm. Andy Rose, who had opened up the scoring against the Atlanta Silverbacks the previous week, was once again the right man at the right time, as he headed a ball in from close range after the ball popped up out of a crowd in front. It was his second goal of the campaign in the 65th minute.
Just three minutes later, Montero struck again. Off a free kick, far outside of the box, he arced the ball over the wall, and the rebound bounced right past Carillo and into the goal to put the Sounders at 4-0. Osvaldo then took advantage of a goal-line scrum less than a minute later, as Alex Caskey connected with Alonso, sending the ball to the twine to give the home side a commanding lead.
The remaining minutes were just playing keep away and removing potential targets of chippy play from the pitch, as David Estrada, Servando Carrasco, and Open Cup hero Roger Levesque subbed on for Ochoa, Montero, and Alonso. While Cal did start commanding their offensive end late, Seattle’s back line was up for it, and when the ball did get past them, keeper Bryan Meredith was up to the challenge.
Their Quarterfinal match against San Jose, a team the Sounders have faced twice as a USL franchise (2002, 2003), will be played in San Francisco at Kezar Stadium at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Sigi Schmid: Post-game interview (SoundersFC.com)
Fredy Montero: Post-game interview (SoundersFC.com)
Alex Caskey: Post-game interview (SoundersFC.com)
CAL- Derby Carillo; Alberto Navarro, Hector Espinosa (Paulo Ferreira-Mendez 76), Michael Randolph, Richard Menjivar; Jesus Gonzalez, Eder Arreola (Pedro Ferreira-Mendez 60), Pablo Cruz (Alex Caceres 65), Arthur Aghasyan; Danny Barrera, Diego Barrera. SUBS NOT USED: Laurent Grill, Makai Werring, Carlos Torres, Ceasar Riviera.
SEA- Bryan Meredith; Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch; Cordell Cato, Osvaldo Alonso (Servando Carrasco 75), Andy Rose, Alex Caskey; Sammy Ochoa (Roger Levesque 73), Fredy Montero (David Estrada 81). SUBS NOT USED: Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Mike Seamon, Andrew Weber.
SEA- Osvaldo Alonso (PK) 50 ‘
SEA- Fredy Montero (Cordell Cato) 58′
SEA- Andy Rose (Alex Caskey) 66′
SEA- Fredy Montero 68′
SEA- Osvaldo Alonso (Alex Rose) 70’
SEA- Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Reckless Tackle) 19
SEA- Sammy Ochoa (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 45
CAL- Richard Menjivar (caution; Reckless Tackle) 74
Referee: Daniel Radford
Referee’s Assistants: Mike Rottersman, Ray Moffatte, Jr.
4th Official: Timon Berry
Weather: 55 degrees, cloudy.