Nearly a month after winning an historic third consecutive Lamar Hunt US Open Cup trophy, the career of former US goalkeeper Kasey Keller came to a heartbreaking end as the Seattle Sounders were unable to make up a three-goal deficit in the second round of the MLS Cup playoffs Wednesday evening. Over the past three US Open Cup tournaments Keller was the co-leader in matches played among goalkeepers with Ronnie Pascale (Richmond Kickers), seeing action in nine games.
The Seattle Sounders became the first team in MLS history to win three consecutive titles in any event, including MLS Cup.
Sanna Nyassi became the first player in the Modern Era (1995-present) to score twice in the US Open Cup Final as the Seattle Sounders FC retained the US Open Cup as the first back-to-back champions from Major League Soccer.
It took 120-plus minutes and penalty kicks, but the Seattle Sounders remained on track to defend their U.S. Open Cup. And it was only fitting that an old Portland Timbers nemesis from back in the USL days, Sounders defender Zach Scott, was the one to seal the deal in this the greatest of Northwest derbies that will only intensify when both clubs are in MLS next year and beyond.
The weather was perfect for soccer in Tukwila for the Seattle Sounders’ Semifinal Open Cup match against MLS Western Conference rivals Houston Dynamo. The two teams had met this past week in league play with Seattle coming out on top 2-1 victors and in front of a sold-out crowd of Sounders faithful at the Starfire Sports Complex, they repeated the feat but needed extra time to do it.
It was Houston who struck first with an Ade Akinbiyi strike after 32 minutes of play. Houston looked strong early despite having few regulars and tried to make the most of their goal by eating up the clock. Play was rough with Houston unwilling to go down twice in one week while the Sounders tried to breach the Open Cup Semifinal barrier.
It took a penalty kick once again for the Seattle Sounders to eliminate the Kansas City Wizards in the Quarterfinals, but this year, instead of settling the game after extra time like in 2008, it was taken at the end of regulation. Sebastien Le Toux scored on an 89th minute spot kick to give the Sounders a 1-0 win, which booked them a spot in the Semifinals. It marks the third year in a row that a Sounders team has advanced to the final four, the last two years it was the USL First Division version of the Seattle-based club.
In the most anticipated US Open Cup non-final game in years, the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers met at PGE Park in front of 16,382 fans, the largest non-doubleheader, non-final game in the Modern Era (1995-present) of Open Cup history.