The defending two-time US Open Cup champion Seattle Sounders grabbed a two-goal lead on a pair of Mike Fucito goals, but were unable to cruise to victory in a Puget Sound showdown against the local PDL Kitsap Pumas, who fought back in a contest that finished in a back-and-forth 2-1 decision.
Nate Jaqua tied for the tournament lead in goals (5), and carried the Sounders to the US Open Cup final. Despite only playing a couple of minutes in the championship game, Jaqua was voted the Player of the Tournament by the staff at TheCup.us and a select panel of the North American Soccer Reporters.
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 Sounders, undefeated in Open Cup play on the FieldTurf of the Starfire Sports Complex in suburban Tukwila, advanced to the final with a 3-1 win over Chivas USA Wednesday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,547 fans. Seattle won the bid to host the game at Qwest Field if they reached the final, and will face the Columbus Crew on Oct. 5 for the chance to add a second trophy to their case.
Jaqua’s clutch performance earned him the Player of the Round for the quarterfinals. The award is voted on by the staff of TheCup.us and a select panel of members of the North American Soccer Reporters (www.soccerreporters.com).
Even though “officially” Seattle’s MLS and USL history are separate, the fact is, a team with the nickname of “Sounders” has reached the semifinals for the fourth year in a row. This year’s team will face Chivas USA on September 1, a team that a Sounders club has never lost to in US Open Cup play.
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.
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.