The Seattle Sounders have always taken the U.S. Open Cup seriously and it has resulted in three consecutive tournament titles. Now they will have a chance at a fourth after demolishing Chivas USA, 4-1, on Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals at Starfire Sports Complex.
At no point on Wednesday did it look like Chivas had a chance and it wasn't that the Goats played badly. The visitors actually played pretty well, but Seattle was just that much better. Osvaldo Alonso was tremendous in snuffing out all of Chivas' forays forward and he got involved in the attack too, slipping the ball in for Eddie Johnson on the Sounders' first goal.
The second half was more of the same for the Sounders, only it came with more goals. Fredy Montero was taken down in the box and Alonso knocked home the penalty to double Seattle's lead just after halftime. Brad Evans and Sammy Ochoa then added goals of their own in the last 10 minutes to make it a laugher. The Goats did get on the scoreboard through Cesar Romero in the 74th minute, but it never felt like they had a chance. It was all Sounders.
Seattle will now have to hit the road for the final and take on Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. If they win, they will become the first team in the 99-year history of the U.S. Open Cup to win four consecutive titles.
Two weeks ago the Philadelphia Union destroyed Sporting Kansas City, 4-0. Sporting sure didn't forget that on Wednesday night at PPL Park, where they took down the Union, 2-0, in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals to move within one win away from their first trophy since 2004.
Sporting's defense was fantastic from the beginning and left the Union without any options on the rare occasion that they did get going forward. It was a far cry from the defense that gave up four to Philadelphia a couple weeks ago, and in the second half it paid off.
After a scoreless first half, Jacob Peterson got Sporting a deserved lead in the 65th minute when he got on the end of a long ball from Graham Zusi. C.J. Sapong then almost doubled that lead right away, but his shot hit the bar and the Kansas City lead was still just 1-0.
Down a goal, Philadelphia remembered what direction they were supposed to attack and finally started to make the Kansas City defense work. But every time the Union came forward Sporting turned them back.
With the Union pressing for a late equalizer, Zac MacMath pushed further and further up the pitch to try to help the attack. That burned him when Zusi spotted him off his line and knocked the ball in from 50 yards to clinch the semifinal win.