2007 Jul 18

US Open Cup, 3rd round:
Seattle Sounders 3 - 1 Chivas USA
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Seattle: Chris Eylander; Graham Taylor, Noah Merl, Kevin Sakuda, Danny Jackson (Zach Scott 26'); Kenji Treschuk, Leighton O'Brien (Jake Besagno 72'), Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (Greg Howes 64'), Josh Gardner; Sebastien Le Toux (Santa Maria Rivera 84'), Roger Levesque. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Craig Tomlinson, Nathan Knox.

Chivas: Preston Burpo; Claudio Suarez, Lawson Vaughn, Jason Hernandez, Orlando Perez (John Cunliffe 59'); Jesse Marsch, Sacha Kljestan, Alex Zotinca (Rodrigo Lopez 68'), Francisco Mendoza; Laurent Merlin, Maykel Galindo (Anthony Hamilton 82'). Substitutes not used: Brad Guzan, Bobby Burling, Eder Robles, Erasmo Solorzano.

16' CHV: Merlin (Hernandez)
44' SEA: Le Toux (Levesque)
51' SEA: Le Toux (Levesque)
81' SEA: Levesque (Gardner)

Additional match reports: GOALSeattle.com, Shotgun Prose, Seattle Times, Seattle P-I, Tacoma News Tribune, Sounders, Chivas, LA Times, USA Today, USOpenCup.com.
Photos: GOALSeattle.com, SPM, George Holland.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

In an enjoyable match, the Seattle Sounders advanced to the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup with a 3-1 win at home over Chivas USA of MLS. Chivas got an early lead from a goal by Laurent Merlin. For the Sounders, three consecutive, beautiful goals sealed the deal. Sebastien Le Toux scored the tying goal just before intermission and scored the winning goal early in the second half. Roger Levesque, who assisted on the first two Sounders goals, added an insurance goal late.

The Sounders will host the Colorado Rapids in the quarterfinals at Qwest on Aug 7.

First Half

Chivas USA dominated the first 43 minutes of the match. The first shot came in the 3rd minute, a 15-yarder from Sacha Kljestan, but an easy first save for Chris Eylander.

For the Sounders in the 8th minute, a free kick by Leighton O'Brien flashed low through the goal area, but nobody could finish it.

16' CHV: Merlin (Hernandez). Jason Hernandez' through ball didn't seem very dangerous at first, but then Seattle defender Taylor Graham slipped on the wet plastic and fell, allowing Merlin to advance on goal. Danny Jackson got there to stick a leg out when Merlin shot from 12 yards, but with Eylander guarding the far post the ball deflected off Jackson's leg and looped inside the near post for a goal. 1-0 Chivas.

Chivas' next chance came at 21', a shot from 25 yards rolled a few yards wide of the far post. We'd like to credit the shooter, but the numbers on the Chivas jerseys are not legible from the stands.

Seattle spent an early substitution in the 26th, replacing the limping defender Jackson with defender Zach Scott.

Chivas had a good chance at 33' when Merlin was sprung from the left side and he and the fans were all surprised that he was judged onside. Merlin advanced to chip the ball over the charging Eylander, but Graham won the loose ball near goal just before Merlin got to it. Maykel Galindo's best shot came a minute later when he headed a nice cross hard on goal from 6 yards, but Eylander caught the ball on the way down for a nice save.

At 37' Seattle's Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar sent a dangerous cross through the goal area chest high, but Levesque couldn't reach it.

At 41' for Chivas, Galindo won a 15-yard shot from a diagonal run forward and shot on the full run but missed the far post.

A minute later for Seattle, Graham headed a long free kick to the near post for Alcaraz-Cuellar, but Burpo pulled the ball off Alcaraz-Cuellar's head.

44' SEA: Le Toux (Levesque). Leighton O'Brien in the penalty area played the ball into space, then fed a short pass to Levesque. With his back to goal, Levesque saw Le Toux charging and laid off a short pass. Le Toux hit the ball near the spot with the outside of his right foot and bent a perfect shot into the top far corner to level the score. It was Seattle's first shot of the match. 1-1.

Halftime: Seattle 1 - 1 Chivas

In the second half, Chivas seemed to lack heart while the Sounders had plenty of heart. Seattle earned the first chance when Josh Gardner got close to goal on the left and dropped a pass to O'Brien at the left end of the arc. O'Brien worked square to the right end of the arc and fired a shot that missed the right post by a millimeter.

51' SEA: Le Toux (Levesque). A Sounders attack up the middle saw O'Brien feed the ball to Levesque attacking on the left. Levesque drew the nearby defender and rolled a perfect pass in front of Le Toux, who was open on a run to the far post. From 15 yards, Le Toux drove a straight shot past Preston Burpo's hands and inside the near post. 2-1 Seattle.

Seattle continued to dominate the match for most of the second half. Sweeper Graham carried the ball on a run up the middle and broke free of the last defender, but his last touch allowed Burpo to slide out and claim the ball, and Graham was forced to jump over Burpo.

Chivas first shot of the half came at 58', a try from the left touch line that was covered by Eylander at the near post.

For Seattle in the 63rd, Gardner stole the ball at the 18 and turned on goal with only Burpo to beat, but his shot to the far post was bent away from goal. Then from a Seattle corner kick Graham headed a shot that missed, but a Seattle player kept it alive for a header to the far post, which was finally cleared by the Chivas defense. Two minutes later a nice cross from Gardner was just over Kenji Treschuk's head, but Levesque was the garbage collector and had a shot on goal that a defender did well to block out. The resulting corner kick play produced another shot, also blocked by a defender near goal. Then substitute Greg Howes crossed for a 15-yard header by Levesque, but he missed the top near corner by a yard. More than halfway through the half, the Sounders had outshot Chivas 7-1 in the half.

The 75th saw a Chivas shot from the 18 on a broken corner kick play, the ball was aimed at the top far corner, but Eylander got there with a flying save. For Chivas at 78', a 25-yard free kick turned into an easy save for Eylander.

In the 78th, Le Toux won the ball in a contest with Burpo way out at the left touch line, and Le Toux's cross/shot was put out for a corner with a leap by the Chivas defender at the 6-yard line.

81' SEA: Levesque (Gardner). After a few minutes of end to end action, Gardner won a ball on the left and dribbled into the penalty area for a nice bending cross. In the middle, Le Toux was tightly marked and jumped over the ball, allowing it to run on for Levesque on the far post run. Levesque was wide open and shot low to the near side before Burpo could get there. 3-1 Seattle.

With Seattle fully in defend mode, Chivas had several chances from the 89th minute into added time. A cross to the far post was a bit too high and a headed shot went well over the bar. Vaughn tried from 20 yards on the right and missed the far post by a yard. A shot on goal was headed clear near goal by a Seattle defender, and the last Chivas shot went wide of goal.

Final: Seattle 3 - 1 Chivas

          Seattle   Chivas
Shots:       11        14
Saves:        5         0
Corners:      5         7
Fouls:       13        12
Offsides:     4         1

55' SEA: Scott cautioned

Referees: Richard Heron; Josh Wilkins, Kevin O'Daniel; Jeff Hosking

Attendance: 3,589