2003 Aug 27

US Open Cup, Quarterfinal:
Seattle Sounders  -  Los Angeles Galaxy
Seahawks Stadium, Seattle, WA

3' LA - Ruiz (PK)
39' LA - Martinez (Elliott)
67' LA - Moreno (Martinez)
70' SEA - Farrell (Jenkins)
87' LA - Ruiz (Ochoa)
90' LA - Ruiz (Elliott)

Seattle: Rich Cullen; Ryan Edwards (Darren Sawatzky 46'), Kevin Sekuda, Scott Jenkins, Zach Scott; Andrew Gregor, Jason Farrell, Sean Henderson (Craig Tomlinson 79'), Viet Nguyen (Sean Callahan 46'); Kyle Smith, Marco Velez. Substitutes not used: Preston Burpo, Ben Somoza, Chad Brown, Roger Levesque.

Los Angeles: Kevin Hartman; Danny Califf, Alexi Lalas, Tyrone Marshall (Jesus Ochao 46'); Chris Albright (Arturo Torres 46'), Simon Elliott, Peter Vagenas (Ryan Suarez 54'), Mauricio Cienfuegos (Cobi Jones 79'), Antonio Martinez; Carlos Ruiz, Alejandro Moreno. Substitutes not used: Dan Popik, Ricky Lewis, Paul Broome.

Match reports from the local papers: Seattle P-I, Seattle Times, King County Journal, Tacoma News Tribune.

Match report from the Sounders:

In another intense U.S. Open Cup battle the Seattle Sounders fell 5-1 at the hands of the MLS Los Angeles Galaxy before a season high crowd at Seahawks Stadium. Despite their efforts and multiple near chances the Seattle Sounders were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the tournament, the furthest the Sounders had ever reached in Open Cup play. Goals by Galaxy forwards Carlos Ruiz (3) and Alejandro Moreno (1) sealed the victory for the Galaxy as they advance to the semifinals.

The Galaxy didn't hold anything back against the Sounders as they scored the match's first goal in the third minute on a Carlos Ruiz penalty kick. Galaxy midfielder Chris Albright played a through ball to forward Alejandro Moreno, who split two Sounders defenders. Defender Ryan Edwards met the charging Moreno and made an aggressive slide tackle that took down Moreno for the foul. Ruiz took the penalty kick and hit his shot in the low left corner of the goal.

Galaxy midfielder Antonio Martinez scored the match's second goal in the 39th minute as he received an excellent pass by the Galaxy's Simon Elliott. Elliot played the through ball to Martinez on the top left side of the box as Martinez had a one on one shot with Sounders goalkeeper Rich Cullen. Cullen charged the ball on the shot, however Martinez put the ball into the far bottom corner just under Cullen's dive attempt.

The Sounders' first half highlights include the play of midfielder Viet Nguyen. Nguyen literally passed the ball to himself around two Galaxy defenders as he then took the ball up the field another 30 yards initiating an offensive attack. Seconds later Nguyen received the ball from Andrew Gregor and took a shot that bounced off of Kyle Smith and out of play.

Nguyen went down late in the second half after he took the ball about 40 yards up the center of the field. He made a cut at the top of the box, and his left ankle just gave out. He was down for a minute before gingerly walking off the field. He would finish the half but would be replaced by Sean-Michael Callahan in the second half.

The Sounders offense came alive in the second half taking six shots in the final 45 minutes. During the 52nd minute the Sounders took three shots during a time span of 30 seconds that also included two corner kicks by Andrew Gregor. In that 30 seconds, midfielder Sean Henderson had an opportunity to score his first goal of the season about 10 yards from the goal line, unfortunately his shot went just wide of the goal.

Sounders forward Kyle Smith thought he had scored the Sounders' first goal of the night in the 59th minute off of a Gregor corner kick. As Gregor's corner kick curved toward the goal line Smith put out his left boot at the ball causing the ball to bounce into the goal. At the same time, Sounders defender Zach Scott fouled Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, canceling the goal.

Galaxy forward Alejandro Moreno had a beautiful header in the 67th minute to add a third goal for the Galaxy on the night. Midfielder Antonio Martinez floated a crossing pass from the far left touchline to Moreno cutting through the box. Moreno headed the ball into the goal along the right post just behind Sounders goalkeeper Cullen.

The Sounders scored their only goal of the night in the 70th minute from midfielder and captain Jason Farrell off a subtle pass from defender Scott Jenkins from Sounders corner kick. On Gregor's corner kick the ball deflected through the box, perhaps even off of Hartman's hands, as the rebound deflected by Jenkins went to Farrell at the top of the left side of the box. Farrell then sent a rocket into the back of the net.

Ruiz capped off his hat trick in the 87th and 90th minutes of the game. Ruiz sealed the Galaxy victory during stoppage time as he received a perfectly played ball from Elliott straight down the middle of the field. Ruiz had his defender beat and he snuck a shot past Cullen for his third goal of the night and sixth in Open Cup play this season. Ruiz's final two goals of the match gave the Galaxy five goals on the night, the most given up by Cullen and the Sounders all season.

The Galaxy defense was unbeatable as they held the Sounders to only two shots on goal in the first half and eight throughout the entire match. Alexi Lalas anchored a solid defense that stumped the Sounders offense, even as the Sounders applied intense pressure at times in the second half.

Despite the loss the Sounders truly played a fantastic game against one of the top teams in Major League Soccer. Tonight's match was an excellent test and preparation for the 2003 playoffs that will begin in two weeks on September 5th against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Seahawks Stadium.

The Galaxy will advance to the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup and play the Chicago Fire of the MLS in Los Angeles at the Home Depot Center.

        Seattle  Los Angeles
Shots:     10          8
Saves:      5          3
Corners:    3         8
Fouls:     13        24
Offsides:   6         5

24' SEA – Sakuda cautioned
39' LA – Martinez cautioned
60' SEA – Gregor cautioned
60' LA – Ruiz cautioned
65' SEA – Smith cautioned

Referees: Jesse Johnson; Calin Znamirovschi, Cory Dean; Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani

Attendance: 7,542