by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR), Oakland, CA
Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Today sees the Sounders in a high-stakes US Open Cup Quarter-Final at Avalon Boulevard. We have won this cup four times hence, and I see no reason why we shouldn’t win it again. The biggest mystery of all is which Sounders side will show up in Carson, the triumphant 5:0 winners over FC Dallas, or the side that left Morrison Street on the wrong end of a 3:1 Sunday matinée against the hated Treecutters. The match will be available for streaming on soundersfc.com and will take place at 19.30 Pacific Daylight Time. Let us all watch this match, whether we gather together with others to do so, or watch in the privacy of our own homes. Let us join together in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!! SOUNDERS FOR THE CUP!!!
The Good News
We haven’t yet lost in the US Open Cup this time around, and we’ve actually won this trophy four times. We’ve played LA Galaxy twice before in this tournament and beaten them both times. Young Jordan Morris has been a revelation this season, perhaps he can manage to strike true in the Cup.
The Bad News
Seattle have dropped seven of their last 10 matches in the league. Los Angeles, in sharp contrast, have lost only two of their last 17 matches in the league. Sounders’ manager Sigi Schmid will likely rest our designated players for this match, and Dempsey is ineligible because he tore up the referee’s notebook in our controversial loss to Portland Treecutters in last year’s tournament. The 5:0 beating we administered to FC Dallas seemed to be a turning point in this season. However, with Sunday’s 3:1 loss to the Treecutters, squad morale may be flagging. In the previous round of the USOC, Galaxy dispatched the Treecutters with a 0:1 victory in Oregon. As we’ve recently lost to both Los Angeles and Portland, this paints a fairly dismal prediction.
The US Open Cup may very well be the most poorly promoted sporting tournament in the history of the United States. Matches are generally relegated to lesser venues, and feature attendances that seem deficient when compared with matches in the league. A common tactic for MLS sides is to play as many reserves as possible without actively conceding the match. The LA Galaxy’s sports complex at Avalon Boulevard includes a track and field stadium that seats 2,000 and is reportedly expandable to 20,000 seats. It is at this facility that tonight’s match will take place.
Galaxy Defender, David Romney played for both USF (NCAA) and San Francisco City FC of the PDL. Defender, Daniel Steres was once selected by Sounders FC in the Waiver Draft, but never appeared in the first team. Midfielder Sebastian Lletget was born in San Francisco, and once played for Sporting Santa Clara. Forward, Alan Gordon, played 28 times for the A-League iteration of arch-rival Portland Timbers.
Selections for Last Match
Los Angeles: Rowe, DeLaGarza, Steres, Van Damme, Romney, Husidic, Larentowicz, dos Santos, Gerrard, Zardes, Keane.
Bench: Kennedy (gk), Leonardo, Magee, Lletget, Garcia, Gordon, Boateng.
Sounders FC: Frei, Mears, Evans, Marshall, Joevin Jones, Roldan, Alonso, Friberg, Morris, Valdez, Ivanschitz.
Bench: Miller (gk), Remick, Fisher, Alfaro, Gomez, Kovar, Anderson.
OUT: Torres (ACL).
OUT: Rogers (ankle surgery), Cole (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Lassiter (back)
As it turns out, getting any specific information regarding card accumulation in the US Open Cup is harder than my imagination’s projection of an AP Calculus final exam. Safe to say Dempsey won’t be able to play after the ‘notebook incident’. The suspension for that is six US Open Cup matches or next two years of the tournament, whichever is greater. No players were sent off for either Seattle or Los Angeles in their Round of 16 US Open Cup matches. Therefore, it seems safe to assume that only Dempsey will be ineligible for selection through suspension.
The US Open Cup may be the second-oldest sporting trophy in North America. To the best of my knowledge, It is predated only by the Stanley Cup of professional ice hockey. The Stanley Cup was first awarded in 1893. The US Open Cup is the oldest football competition in this country, founded in 1914.