2007 Sep 4

US Open Cup, semifinal:
Seattle Sounders  1 - 2  FC Dallas (AET)

Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Seattle: Chris Eylander; Danny Jackson (Craig Tomlinson 106'), Taylor Graham, Zach Scott, Kevin Sakuda; Kenji Treschuk (Greg Howes 100'), Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar, Leighton O'Brien, Josh Gardner (Noah Merl 78'); Sebastien Le Toux, Roger Levesque (Andre Schmid 100'). Substitutes Not Used: Ben Dragavon, Jake Besagno, Santa Maria Rivera.

Dallas: Dario Sala; Alex Yi (Aaron Pitchkolan 54'), Drew Moor, Clarence Goodson (Adrian Serioux 46'), David Wagenfuhr; Arturo Alvarez, Pablo Ricchetti, Juan Toja; Abe Thompson, Carlos Ruiz (Bobby Rhine 109'), Denilson (Dax McCarty 94'). Substitutes Not Used: Ray Burse, Chris Gbandi, Anthony Wallace.

91' DAL: Ruiz (Alvarez)
119' DAL: Thompson (PK)
120' SEA: O'Brien (Schmid)

Additional match reports: Seattle Times, Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley, Seattle P-I, GOALSeattle.com, Sounders, FC Dallas, USOpenCup.com, Dallas Morning News.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

After a scoreless 90 minutes in a US Open Cup semifinal match, the host Seattle Sounders dropped a 2-1 decision to FC Dallas in extra time. Dallas pulled ahead with a goal from Carlos Ruiz and a penalty kick from Abe Thompson, and the Sounders answered late with a goal from Leighton O'Brien.

In the other semifinal, MLS side New England Revolution advanced 2-1 over USL 1st Div's Carolina Railhawks. Dallas will host the US Open Cup final.

The crowd of 10,385 was the largest for the Sounders since they hosted the Qwest Field inaugural match.

The opening 90 minutes featured attacking soccer with plenty of shots each way, but the defenses were just good enough to keep the nets clean. Seattle's defense finally broke down in extra time to give up the pair of goals.

First Half

Seattle earned first shot in the 2nd minute when Josh Gardner was fed the ball up front and he beat a man for a 15-yard try that Dario Sala saved. A minute later a Dallas cross from Arturo Alvarez was headed nicely on goal from 15 yards by Ruiz, and goalkeeper Chris Eylander pushed it over the bar nicely. Then Seattle had another nice effort on a broken corner kick play, the ball dropped to Sebastien Le Toux for a shot at the near post that was saved by Sala with a dive.

A number of Seattle fans were calling for a penalty kick when Roger Levesque sent a dangerous cross into the penalty area for O'Brien, but it appeared that the defender got a touch on the ball just before getting O'Brien. The next good chance for Seattle came in the 13th minute, when Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar on a run to the near post headed Gardner's corner kick just over the bar.

After 20 minutes the play was even and the stats showed it, each side having 4 shots, 2 saves, 3 corner kicks, and 2 fouls. But in the remainder of the half all 5 shots would come from Seattle.

Midway in the half O'Brien tried a quick shot from outside the top right corner of the penalty area, but Sala was there for the save at the top far corner. From a throw-in play, Alcaraz-Cuellar served a diagonal cross to Taylor Graham, who headed it down sharply, but Sala dove out to catch it. At 43' a nice attack from O'Brien's free kick saw Le Toux inside the area roll a nice diagonal ball forward in front of Levesque, but Levesque's slide couldn't quite reach the ball.

Halftime: Seattle 0-0 Dallas

The early 15 minutes of the second half saw a couple of shots each way, but nothing close. Then at 61' Eylander had a brilliant save when he charged out to punch away a shot from 15 yards up the middle by Denilson, and with Eylander getting back up from the ground a shot from the rebound was rocketed an inch from the top left corner by Alvarez.

Just two minutes later it was Seattle with a near goal, as O'Brien's corner kick to the far side was headed on goal by Graham, but it was rejected by the crossbar.

For the final 20 minutes of the second half it was Dallas with most of the good chances, but Eylander was equal to the several chances.

After 90 minutes of play, Seattle had taken 18 shots forcing 7 saves and Dallas had taken 16 shots forcing 8 saves.

Fulltime: Seattle 0-0 Dallas

91' DAL: Ruiz (Alvarez). Just a minute into the first period of extra time, Seattle's defense lapsed and let in a goal. Zach Scott tried for the ball and got beat by Alvarez, who was then able to turn the corner and get in close from the right. He sent a low cross to Ruiz in front of goal, and Ruiz chipped it over the charging Eylander and under the bar. 1-0 Dallas.

The rest of the 15-minute period saw just two shots, headers from Seattle's Alcaraz-Cuellar and Levesque that didn't threaten the goal.

The second 15-minute period of extra time played out most of its minutes with just a couple of tame shots, then another Sounders defensive miscue gave Dallas an insurance goal that would prove valuable.

119' DAL: Thompson (PK). With Seattle pressing forward looking for an equalizer, a counterattack by Dallas at 118' led to substitute Dax McCarty with the ball defended by Scott in the right side of the penalty area. Scott pulled down McCarty, and the penalty kick was awarded. Substitute defender Noah Merl must have said something, because he was shown a straight red after the foul was called. Thompson sent the PK to the right side while Eylander guessed the other way. 2-0 Dallas.

120' SEA: O'Brien (Schmid). With about 2 minutes of added time left in the match, Seattle pulled back to within a goal. Alcaraz-Cuellar sent a ball up the right touch line towards the corner for substitute Andre Schmid. Schmid's cross went low to the near post, and O'Brien was first to it, sliding feet first to poke the shot home. 2-1 Dallas.

The remaining 2 minutes of added time just wasn't enough for the Sounders to find another goal.

Final: Seattle 1 - 2 Dallas

          Seattle    Dallas
Shots:       23        20
Saves:       10         8
Corners:      7         7
Fouls:       14        16
Offsides:     3         2

88' DAL: Ricchetti cautioned for a tactical foul on Le Toux
113' DAL: Ruiz cautioned while on the bench for kicking the ball into the stands
118' SEA: Merl sent off, apparently for what he said after Dallas was awarded a PK

Referees: Abiodun Okulaja; Will Niccolls, Mike Rottersman; Cory Dean

Attendance: 10,385