2009 Sep 2

Sounders win US Open Cup final with commanding performance at DC United

DC United  1 - 2  Seattle Sounders FC

Robert F Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, DC

67' SEA: Fredy Montero (Freddie Ljungberg)
86' SEA: Roger Levesque (Sebastien Le Toux)

89' DC: Clyde Simms (Rodney Wallace)

DC: Josh Wicks (sent off 69'); Marc Burch, Dejan Jakovic, Bryan Namoff; Chris Pontius, Christian Gomez (Milos Kocic 70'), Ben Olsen (Rodney Wallace 82'), Clyde Simms, Fred (Santino Quaranta 46'); Jaime Moreno, Luciano Emilio. Substitutes not used: Avery John, Devon McTavish, Andrew Jacobson, Danny Szetala.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Leo Gonzalez, Tyson Wahl, Patrick Ianni, James Riley; Steve Zakuani (Roger Levesque 74'), Osvaldo Alonso, Peter Vagenas, Freddie Ljungberg; Sebastien Le Toux, Fredy Montero (Brad Evans 78'). Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Nathan Sturgis, Lamar Neagle, Nate Jaqua.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders FC rose to the challenge and won the US Open Cup final on the road at DC United's RFK Stadium. The final is seldom won on the road -- it happened just three times in the previous dozen years. The critical point came when Fredy Montero scored midway in the second half after Freddie Ljungberg's shot was saved but spilled onto on the pitch, and then in frustration DC goalkeeper Josh Wicks ran over Montero and stomped on him, earning a red card courtesy of the sharp eyes of the fourth official. An insurance goal was needed, and it came from Roger Levesque on a cross from "Mr. US Open Cup" Sebastien Le Toux. DC's Clyde Simms scored late on a free kick play to make the five minutes of added time tense.

A few hundred Sounders fans in rave green gave vocal support and were appreciated by the team, not to mention the FSC announcers. The vocal support continued through the post-match awards ceremony, in which the Sounders were given their medals, then the Dewar Cup, which will go down in history as the first trophy earned by the MLS reincarnation of the Seattle Sounders. Co-owners Adrian Hanauer and Drew Carey were present for the happy occasion and were interviewed on camera after the award ceremony. They appeared to be as happy as you will ever see them, and the same can be said for the players.

The biggest question before the match was about Seattle's central defense, with regulars Tyrone Marshall (injured in the previous league match) and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (two yellows in the previous Open Cup match) out. Tyson Wahl and Patrick Ianni played so well in their place that nobody missed the regulars.

Goalkeeping was a big factor in the match. DC's Wicks made three excellent saves to stop close shots from the Sounders in the first half. Then Seattle's Kasey Keller made fine saves to keep DC off the scoreboard in the second half. Wicks made a critical blunder, though, when he deliberately stomped on Montero after Montero had scored the initial goal. The indiscretion was caught by the assistant referee, and Wicks was sent off, leaving his side a man short for the final quarter of the match.

First Half

The first chance was for DC in the 5th minute as rookie Chris Pontius won a challenge with Leo Gonzalez on an air ball into the penalty area to earn a shot from a steep angle on the right. Keller allowed no space at the near post and Pontius missed the far post by a yard.

After that, Seattle dominated the rest of the half. Montero tried a surprise shot from 25 yards at 9' and bent it just wide of the far post. A minute later a through ball into the area put Steve Zakuani free for a cross to the center of the 6-yard line for a first-touch powered shot by Montero, but Wicks got an arm out to block it for his first of a few fine saves.

DC's Ben Olsen drove a shot at the lower near corner at 12' to force Keller to dive for his first save. DC had another chance when Christian Gomez bent a 25-yard free kick from the middle around the wall and a half yard wide of the post.

Seattle's next golden opportunity came when Le Toux stole a ball in DC's end, advanced into the penalty area, and dished left for an open Ljungberg. But Ljungberg's shot allowed a leg save by Wicks. At 29' Zakuani was sprung into the penalty area on a counter attack, but he touched the ball to where defender Dejan Jakovic could touch it and in the end the ball was ruled out over the goal line off Zakuani.

At 33' DC's Olsen forced another save with a 20-yard shot struck well towards the top shelf, but Keller palmed it over the bar.

A minute later a quick throw-in by Montero found Le Toux near goal, but the tap at goal was right to Wicks' midsection. Another minute later Gonzalez ran into the area to earn a nice cross to Montero, but the headed shot went a half yard over the top near corner.

At 44' Tyson Wahl fed Le Toux on the right for a quality cross to Montero for a header from the 6-yard line, but Wicks made his best save yet to turn it into a corner.

Second Half

At the intermission DC substituted Santino Quaranta in for Fred and then they controlled the match for the third quarter. From a long free kick, Bryan Namoff took a nice header but Keller saved well. Gomez had a couple of shots from 25 yards but skied them. A long rocket by Marc Burch was aimed at the far post but parried, then caught by Keller. At one hour Luciano Emilio was fed the ball 12 yards from goal and earned space for a shot, but failed to get enough mustard on it, allowing Keller to make the save.

Then play got sloppy for seven minutes until the critical goal.

67' SEA: Montero (Ljungberg). The goal came from a counter attack. Wahl broke up a DC attack in the Seattle penalty area and passed the ball to Le Toux, who advanced up the middle through the circle. Le Toux sent the ball in the air to the left to an open Zakuani, who headed it in front of Ljungberg who was on a near-post run. Ljungberg won the ball a step ahead of his marker and shot from 12 yards, and Wicks dove for the save, but he couldn't hold the ball and Montero on a run at the other post got to the loose ball before Wicks to slam it home. 1-0 Seattle. Montero had to jump over Wicks on the follow-through and ended up supine in front of goal. Wicks then made his mistake, getting up, jumping over Montero, and stomping on him to earn the red card. Referee Alex Prus didn't see the stomp, but fourth official Andrew Chapin and the video replays did, and the deserved red card did come out.

With Wicks gone, DC needed a new goalkeeper and sent on Milos Kocic for Gomez. Seattle soon sent on Levesque for Zakuani, who had pulled up injured shortly before helping set up the goal, and then Brad Evans came on for Montero, who had given plenty and had drawn a yellow card.

At 82' for Seattle Levesque had his first chance, heading two yards over the bar on a broken corner kick play.

For DC, Quaranta powered a nice shot from the right and Keller made a great save overhead.

86' SEA: Levesque (Le Toux). Le Toux set up this goal, first pressuring defender Jakovic into misplaying an attempted clearance header, then pressuring Jakovic as he misplayed the ball with his chest when it came down. Somehow, Jakovic ended up on his belly, leaving Le Toux open to win the ball at the end line for a cross through the goal area. Levesque was lurking unmarked out from the far post, and had an easy finish for the insurance goal. 2-0 Seattle.

89' DC: Simms (Wallace). Quaranta's free kick from the top of the arc deflected off Seattle's Wahl in the wall and was deflected wide by Rodney Wallace. Simms came in unmarked from the right to quickly finish inside the near post. 2-1 Seattle.

Five minutes were added, and near the end of that DC had their last chances. Keller snared a cross into the goal area, then on a corner kick punched the ball far away. Finally, Jaime Moreno's long free kick went a yard wide of the near post.

As fate would have it, Seattle's next match is a league match against the same side in the same city. It should be a good one, with DC looking for revenge and Seattle trying to win the season series. The teams drew 3-3 when DC visited Seattle in MLS play.

           DC  SEA
Shots:     18   15
Saves:      5    7
Corners:    5    5
Fouls:      5   12
Offsides:   1    2

24' SEA: Ianni cautioned for holding Emilio
49' SEA: Gonzalez cautioned for a tactical foul on Quaranta
69' DC: Wicks sent off for stomping on Montero after Montero scored
79' SEA: Vagenas cautioned for a tactical foul on Olsen

Referees: Alex Prus; Greg Barkey, Rob Fereday; Andrew Chapin

Attendance: 17,329

Other match reports: