2010 Jun 30

Sounders FC draw Portland Timbers in Open Cup, advance after kicks from the mark

Portland Timbers  1 - 1  Seattle Sounders FC (AET, Sounders win kicks from the mark 3 - 4)

PGE Park, Portland, OR

13' SEA: Nate Jaqua (Sanna Nyassi)

38' POR: Bright Dike (Ryan Pore)

Portland: Steve Cronin; Ian Joy, Scot Thompson, Ross Smith, Mamadou Danso; Tony McManus, James Marcelin (Mandjou Keita 109'), Alex Nimo (Rodrigo Lopez 69'), Takayuki Suzuki (Doug DeMartin 85'); Ryan Pore, Bright Dike. Substitutes not used: Matt Pyzdrowski, Josh Cameron, Stephen Keel, George Josten.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Tyson Wahl, Taylor Graham (sent off 101'), Zach Scott, James Riley; Miguel Montaño (Steve Zakuani 69'), Nathan Sturgis, Michael Seamon (Patrick Ianni 102'), Sanna Nyassi; Nate Jaqua (Fredy Montero 62'), Roger Levesque. Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Jeff Parke, David Estrada, Pat Noonan.

Match report from Sounders FC:

Zach Scott seems an unlikely hero when it comes to scoring game-winning goals.

However, for the second time in three years it was his penalty kick that advanced a Seattle team through in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

"I don't know if it's familiar … there are still butterflies going up there. But it is a good feeling," said Scott.

It was Scott's kick from the mark in 2008 that pushed the Sounders, then playing in the USL, through to the semifinal with a shootout victory over the Kansas City Wizards. Wednesday night Scott bested Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Cronin to lift the Sounders past their longtime rivals and through to the quarterfinals of the Open Cup after playing to a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time.

"That's what derby games are and that's what the Open Cup is as well," Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. "I thought some guys played very well and at the end we showed a ton of character."

Meanwhile Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller stopped two Portland shots in the shootout to keep the Sounders in position to win the shootout, capping a great six-save night for Keller.

In an up-and-down game, the Sounders FC got on the board first when Nate Jaqua scored his first goal of 2010. Rookie midfielder Michael Seamon got the play started with a great ball up the left side to Miguel Montaño, who crossed to Sanna Nyassi at the far post. Nyassi collected the ball and found Jaqua for a header that beat Cronin inside the far post for a 1-0 Seattle lead in the 13th minute.

Portland forward Bright Dike - a 2010 MLS SuperDraft first round pick of the Columbus Crew - evened the score in the 38th minute when he turned on a ball in the middle of the box and pushed the ball inside the left post.

"It was a shame because I thought we defended tremendous all night," Keller said. "All-in-all, just a great effort from the guys."

That effort was made even more impressive as the Sounders FC played the final 19 minutes of extra time down a man after Taylor Graham picked up his second yellow card, resulting in a red card ejection.

But Seattle kept their cool and kept Portland from threatening as the minutes wore on and the game went into a shootout.

Keller dove to his right and swatted away Ryan Pore's first attempt on net in the shootout. Then after Seattle got goals from Nathan Sturgis, Steve Zakuani and Fredy Montero to take a 3-2 lead Keller got another save, this time stonewalling Ross Smith. Patrick Ianni could not ice the win for the Sounders though, blasting his shot off the crossbar.

Portland scored to even the tally at 3-3, leaving Scott at center stage. Scott lifted his shot past Cronin to give the Sounders the 4-3 advantage on penalties and putting them through to face the LA Galaxy in the quarterfinals next Wednesday.

"Especially in a competition like this where we are the defending champs, this is huge," Scott said. "We have to take this as far as we can. It's just another stepping stone toward turning our season around."

Noting the large contingent of Sounders FC fans who made the drive to Portland for the match, Keller added, "It's a big night for the team and our fans. This is the enemy and you want to beat the enemy. I'm just really happy for the team and our fans that made the trip down here … they can have a nice drive home now."

Seattle will host the LA Galaxy at Starfire in Tukwila Wednesday night at 7 pm. Tickets are available Thursday morning at 10 am through Ticketmaster.

Kicks from the Penalty Mark:

POR: Pore - Save (0-0)
SEA: Sturgis - Goal (0-1)
POR: DeMartin - Goal (1-1)
SEA: Zakuani - Goal (1-2)
POR: Danso - Goal (2-2)
SEA: Montero - Goal (2-3)
POR: Smith - Save (2-3)
SEA: Ianni - Miss (2-3)
POR: Lopez - Goal (3-3)
SEA: Scott - Goal (3-4)

          POR  SEA
Shots:     18   12
Saves:      3    6
Corners:    4    5
Fouls:     11   12

23' SEA and POR: Riley and Suzuki cautioned for a minor altercation
39' POR: Thompson cautioned for a tackle at the touch line
43' SEA: Graham cautioned for a tackle on Dike
58' SEA: Nyassi cautioned after a collision in midfield
101' SEA: Graham cautioned for a tackle on Dike and sent off for his second caution

Referees: Ronald Lagraff; Jeremy Hanson, Desmond Miller; Richard Wallace

Attendance: 15,422

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Head Coach Sigi Schmid

Nice quick win and you're out of here, eh?: "It was nice and easy (laughs). That's what derby games like this are, and classic games. That's what the Open Cup is as well. For us, we maybe took a little bit of a chance tonight, we started a lot of players who hadn't played a lot of minutes, and we wanted to see what guys could do. We've got to get a better mix as we move forward, because we haven't gotten it done with the group we've been playing. I thought some guys played very well and definitely accounted for themselves well. At the end, I think we showed a ton of character, because we were down a man, we had Sanna, who was really cramping up as well. So we were playing almost down two at times, but I thought the team showed a lot of heart and desire."

On going to a shootout: "We hit some PKs over the last 3-4 days, so I had a list of 8-9 guys, so I said, 'These are the guys I'll take 'em from.' And then you have certain things happen, like Sanna was cramping up, so he gets off the list. Tyson Wahl, same thing, he really didn't want to hit one. My philosophy always on PKs, unfortunately we lost the toss, is that you shoot first. You don't want to shoot second, you want to shoot first. To me the most important PK takers are number one and number three. I've seen coaches save their best PKs takers for last and sometimes you never get to them. I think the first one is important to get off to a good start, as you saw they missed their first one, and then the third one's important because it either puts you back into it or sometimes it almost ices it for you. And that's why we had Sturgis and Montero shoot first and third."

On Keller being an advantage: "We felt we had a shot. Tommy Dutra does a great job of having an idea where guys are going, he researches it a little bit. But he knows. So him and Kasey had a little bit of a system worked out, where Tommy could sort of give him an indication on each one. I think out of the five, he had the right side on four of the five."

On wearing yellow on Sunday: "I don't know, they don't allow us to wear the yellows in MLS matches. But I think if we show the same character and resiliency, we'll be OK. Obviously there's skill still to be had, but we're still missing Alonso, we're still missing Evans, who are important players. But I thought today Sturgis had a good match for us in the midfield, there's a lot of minutes. I thought Michael Seamon had a good match until he ran out gas at about 65-70 minutes."

Nate Jaqua

On the dramatic win: "It was a good night for us. It was a battle. Portland came out and played really well, made it tough on us, but we were able to fight through. It's great to see some resilience in this team to get the win in the end."

On your goal: "I think Montaño played a real good ball in and Sanna spotted me and was able to cut it back. It was a little far, but he was able to cut it back right onto my head and I was able to put it by Cronin."

On Keller's saves: "I think a real big night for him, and unbelievable on the PKs. That was great to see."

On what he's thinking during the shootout: "I'm nervous. I'm real nervous, it's tough watching those. But credit our guys to come through in the end. It's a lift for us and we have to carry it through now to L.A."

How you feel on your first competitive start?: "It felt alright. Still getting my legs, still getting my fitness back. But it's fun to be out there and it's fun mixing it up and playing. I still have to keep getting to where I want to get. I'm not quite there yet, but I think it was a good step in the right direction."

On taking a few hits helping confidence: "Yeah, I'm think I'm fine in that. Some of that is trying to take those hits and still control the ball...I think my touch is alright but when you're fighting and having to bring balls down, it gets difficult, but it's almost there."

On gaining mental sharpness in games more so than training: "Yeah, definitely. You can't really get that in training, especially with the atmosphere and the people. It just brings more energy there's a bit more fight and bite to it. So it's good for me to be in this atmosphere."

Is game awareness at 100% yet?: "No, it's not. But it's getting close, getting better everyday."

Zach Scott

On taking that final PK: "It's still butterflies going up there, but yeah, it's a good feeling."

On the thoughts going into that kick: "Just trying to concentrate on repetition. That's really what PKS are, you know? Just do the same thing every time you get up there. So I knew where I wanted to go the whole time, it was a matter of just following though."

On the win lifting spirits a bit: "I think especially in a competition like this, where we're the defending champs, this is huge. We've got to take this as far as we can. This is another stepping stone to really turning our season around, which is not too late to do."

Ever envision this game-winning type of moment?: "Not as a defender (laughs). That's not really a thought that crosses my mind."

Or if his brother, who plays for Kitsap, shared some thoughts on defending Bright Dike: "He told me he was a big boy. And it's something we struggled with all game obviously. He got around us a few times, but in the end Kasey came up with some big saves, the defense stayed together and we got the win and that's the biggest thing."

Kasey Keller

On the win: "It's a big night for the team and our fans. This is the enemy, and you want to beat the enemy. I thought we got off to a good start, we had a bit of an unfortunate pinball goal, but those things happen. And you give them credit, they fought back. You know we dug in, we played 20 minutes with a man down and showed the character to do that. It's difficult, it wasn't that kind of a game for someone to get sent off, so that was a little bit unfortunate for Taylor. I thought he had a great game, the guys that stepped in, Zach had a great game, Sanna played fantastic, it was great to have Nate back. I'm just really happy for the team and the fans that made the trip down, and who were watching it on TV back at home, so they can have a nice drive home now."

On Portland's goal: "The ball just kind of got played into box, bounced around the guys' legs. Sometimes you just don't see stuff and it bounces a different way and you just don't have time to react. It's a shame, because I thought we defended tremendous all night and the chances they had, I thought it was from distance or from angles. We battled great on corners and crosses, all in all just a great effort from the guys."

On the shootout: "Tommy Dutra almost got red carded from behind the goal because sometimes I like to have somebody who kind of gives me that little bit of an idea of which direction to go. I remember I saved a penalty at Stuttgart one time because one of my defenders was warming up behind the goal and he's like, 'Oh this guy goes that way! He goes that way!' So I go that way and save it. I had that in the back of my head, Tommy saw that. (The refs) saw me over there talking to him, so they kicked him out of the back. And I was upset because on the second one, I said 'This kid's going down the middle. He's going the middle, I know he is. Hold, hold.' Then I took off and was like 'Ahh! He went down the middle!' It's a dice throw, penalties are. It's a terrible way to finish a game, but until we figure out something better it's what we have, and it's exciting of the fans. For me, there's no pressure. It's nice. I can jump around and make some saves hopefully and come out of it well."

On the win lifting the team: "We're obviously disappointed with the inconsistency of our season so far. And anytime you can win a game, home or away, it's just always that boost, regardless of what's going on. It's a hell of a lot better 3-hour drive back after a victory, for our fans and for everyone. We want to retain this cup, we want to do well in the CONCACAF Champions League, we want to do well in the league. Right now in the league we're faltering a little bit, but anytime we can make it exciting for our fans, and give pride to our club, that's what we're trying to do. A win like this in Portland, against the team that our fans want to beat the most, is tremendous."