2010 Sep 1

Sounders FC finally beat Chivas USA to advance to the USOC final

Seattle Sounders FC  3 - 1  Chivas USA

Starfire Sports Stadium, Tukwila, WA

10' SEA: Nate Jaqua (Steve Zakuani)
58' SEA: Fredy Montero (Steve Zakuani)

68' CHV: Jesus Padilla (Justin Braun)
90' SEA: Nate Jaqua (Roger Levesque)

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Leo Gonzalez, Tyrone Marshall, Taylor Graham, James Riley; Steve Zakuani (Jeff Parke 90'), Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis (Mike Seamon 66'), Alvaro Fernandez (Roger Levesque 83'); Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua. Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Zach Scott, David Estrada, Michael Fucito.

Chivas: Zach Thornton; Mariano Trujillo, Michael Umana, Dario Delgado, Ante Jazic; Jonathan Bornstein (Michael Lahoud 46'), Rodolfo Espinoza, Paulo Nagamura, Marcelo Saragosa (Jesus Padilla 54'); Justin Braun, Giancarlo Maldonado (Sal Zizzo 63'). Substitutes not used: Kevin Guppy, Carlos Borja, Yamith Cuesta, Ben Zemanski.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders FC will host the US Open Cup Championship Match after besting Chivas USA 3-1 in the semifinal. Nate Jaqua scored first and last, with Fredy Montero netting the match winner. Jaqua now has five goals in 2010 US Open Cup competition.

The same evening, in the other USOC semifinal the Columbus Crew won 2-1 after extra time at DC United. DC entered the 89th minute ahead 1-0 but were done in by an own goal to force another 30 minutes and then a Crew goal in extra time.

To open the match, Seattle turnovers gave Chivas a couple of early attacks but they ended with the ball running over the end line on the fast pitch.

An early Seattle pass into the left corner did not run long and Steve Zakuani ran the end line for his first cross through the goal area from close. It was out of Jaqua's reach and a defender cleared the cross.

10' SEA: Jaqua (Zakuani). On a Seattle counterattack, Montero fed a nice ball past a defender to Zakuani on the left. Zakuani again ran along the end line to get close and this time his low cross into the goal area was met by Jaqua, who slammed it into the back of the net from point blank range. It was the first shot of the match. 1-0 Seattle.

At 16 minutes Chivas central midfielder Paula Nagamura was down a few minutes after a collision, then left holding a towel to his head. He finished the match with a head wrap.

Midway in the half Jaqua tried to add a goal in dramatic fashion with a bicycle kick, but he missed the goal. Then Chivas finally got their first shot, which was promptly deflected wide for a corner.

At 26' Montero served Zakuani, who saw an opening and fired at the lower near corner to give Zach Thornton the first save of the match.

Kasey Keller's first save came at 39' when a turnover gave Justin Braun a quick shot aimed at the near post. A minute later Keller saved again when defender Ante Jazic was up to head a shot on goal from 15 yards.

Osvaldo Alonso took a long Seattle free kick a couple of minutes before intermission and lined it hard at Thornton, who parried it down and was lucky when Montero's quick try from the rebound went just wide of goal. A minute later defender James Riley worked a give and go with Montero to enter the penalty area, then muscled off a challenge to fire at the near post, earning a corner kick when Thornton parried the shot wide. On the corner kick, Taylor Graham headed a shot over the bar.

Seattle had the early shots in the second half. Zakuani worked a give and go with Jaqua for a shot from the arc but sent it right to Thornton in the middle of goal. Repeating Alonso's earlier feat, Montero lined a 40-yard free kick on goal and again Thornton could only parry it down, and this time a defender had to put it out to concede a corner.

58' SEA: Montero (Zakuani). Zakuani won a through ball on the left and was open to again cross into the goal area from close. Montero had the run this time, sliding feet first to finish from a few yards. 2-0 Seattle.

After entering as a substitute, Jesus Padilla soon was threatening Seattle's goal more than any of his teammates had done. He got his head on a corner kick but sent it over the bar. At 64' he took a nice shot at the near post from 19 yards and Keller made a fine save.

68' CHV: Padilla (Braun). After a Seattle defender cleared the ball from the penalty area, Chivas sent it right back in to Braun, who chested it in front of Padilla's run at goal. Padilla's quick shot from 10 yards beat Keller to the lower near corner, and the outcome of the match was suddenly in doubt. 2-1 Seattle.

Chivas soon had a couple of well taken shots at a tying goal. Rodolfo Espinoza shot from a distance and Keller had to dive to the far side to catch it. Nagamura's shot from 20 yards at 77' resulted in a similar dive and save by Keller. That would be the last good chance for Chivas, who had put together a good ten minutes of pressure.

With three minutes left on the clock substitute Mike Seamon was fed on a run up the touch line by another substitute, Roger Levesque. Seamon crossed nicely to give Zakuani a golden opportunity for a header. After lining it up, Zakuani's shot missed the far post by a half yard.

90' SEA: Jaqua (Levesque). Two minutes into added time Montero did well to win a duel for a ball served to the front right side. He fed Levesque, who ran up the right touch line. Levesque bent a perfect cross to Jaqua, who had just one defender marking him, and Jaqua headed his shot nicely down and past Thornton to finish off the match. 3-1 Seattle.

          SEA  CHV
Shots:     19   10
Saves:      5    6
Corners:   10    7
Fouls:      9   13
Offsides:   1    3

51' CHV: Nagamura cautioned for tripping Sturgis from behind
79' SEA: Alonso cautioned for a reckless foul

Referees: Ricardo Salazar; Colin Arblaster, Mike Kampmeinert; Josh Wilkens

Attendance: 4,547

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Head Coach Sigi Schmid

On the match: "Obviously we weren't happy with the goal we gave up because we always try and be perfectionists and so forth. I thought our ball movement at times was good. Zakuani was sharp today. He had the better of Trujillo on the outside. That was important for us. It's a field that lends itself to speed of play, getting faster and I think we took advantage of that."

On Steve Zakuani: "I think he got a lot of respect early on, once he took them early and set up that first goal. After that, I think Trujillo packed up and for sure in the second half they got people over there to double him. Espinoza came back a lot in the first half to help on him and in the second half they tried to double and triple him. If you can make magical moments like that or moments that impact games, that's what makes the difference in games."

On playing for the U.S. Open Cup championship: "It's sort of ironic that it's the team I'm coaching now against the team I used to coach and so obviously I know their whole coaching staff. I know a lot of their players there. So it's going to be emotional that way. But we are very happy that we are hosting the game. And we are very excited. We want to sellout Qwest and we want to be able to hoist a trophy in front of all those people."

On Nate Jaqua: "Well they all count whether they are six yards away or twenty-five yards away. He has made a couple of good runs. He made some good runs today. We talked about it before the game. I said, 'Hey, you're the leading scorer in the Open Cup. You want to stay there.' Obviously he tried to stay there, or is there with the two goals tonight. A lot of the work for his goals, great service by Roger, great service by Steve. We were unlucky a couple of times, Steve's header at the back post was one that we could have had as well. I am very happy for Nate and he got a couple of goals again today."

On the quick turnaround: "That's just the way it is for us right now. Again, like I said, we try not to dwell on it. We tried not to make a big thing of it but I think the most important thing is that it is what it is and you move forward and you tackle it and we make sure we get the right regeneration when we get in there to Boston tomorrow. Everybody takes care of their bodies and we get them to recover and we get them to play again."

On reaching the Open Cup Final: "I think it's tremendous. Obviously playing at Starfire is a unique situation because the fans are so close to the field and we pack the place. It just lends itself to a completely different atmosphere. I think every club wants to win trophies. To be able in our first two years of existence to be able to get to two finals in the Open Cup, to win the first win and now the possibility to win the second one becoming the first team to win two in a row since MLS has joined the Open Cup is obviously something we would like to do because it hasn't been done and it's something unique and special for us to achieve."

Steve Zakuani

On the win: "I'm looking forward to the final at Qwest Field ... We went out there, got the early goal, got the second one, they came back but we managed to close it off. Now is a good time to win, keep our momentum going. I think it's like eight games against MLS teams unbeaten. We just got to keep going."

On the physicality: "People react like that, get frustrated and kick you. I've fought that for a long time, my whole career. It's something you get used to. It means I'm doing my job. If I get that every game I would be happy."

On the first goal: "Ozzie has got good understanding. He always looks for me. He found me and then I think I actually took a heavy touch and went wide. I managed to turn the defender and Nate was in the right spot. I found him and he finished it off. It's just one of those that we probably do a lot on the training ground and it's good to see it come off in a game."

On his move on the left flank: "Ever since I was seven. It's just something you improvise on the field. I think my game is to try and be creative. Sometimes it doesn't work. When it works like tonight, then it looks good. So I'll take that."

On Nate Jaqua: "I said from the beginning, I enjoyed playing with Nate a lot last year. He is one of those guys who is always going to be in the box. I think you saw today he scored two goals by being in the box. I think that's five goals in the Open Cup. It's no surprise. It's good to see him come back."

On the final being played at Qwest Field: "I think playing the final at Qwest, I fully expect it to be a full house. It's going to be incredible. And of course, it's Sigi old team and that stuff is going to come back into it. For us, it's just one more game. We are unbeaten in Open Cup as an MLS team. So it's just something where to go back-to-back in your second year would be unheard of. We are really going to fight for it."

Nate Jaqua

On the win: "Great win for us tonight and the chance to play a final at Qwest Field in front of our fans is an unbelievable opportunity. It was a great hard fought win by our guys and it was fun."

On the first goal: "The first goal was Zakuani's. He made a great run and he had one right before that and I tried to cut back and cut one back to me and he played it across. I was like alright I'll cut back in that way the next one, and he was able to find me, a great ball and a great run by him.

On playing the entire game: "I feel alright. A bit knocked up. I'm going to get in the cold tub. But I feel good. It's nice to be on the field, get the start and play the whole game. Injury wise I'm good."

On playing in a second Open Cup Final: "It's great. It's even better. It's going to be unbelievable playing at Qwest, and a chance to hold up the trophy there. It's good."

Chivas USA

Head Coach Martin Vasquez

On his impressions of the match: "Disappointed because we really wanted to go to our first final. I thought we had a good start, but you can't give a player like Zakuani, you have to respect and not let him get behind you. Overall the effort was good. I was pleased with their response after the first goal. We talked at halftime, we still had 45 minutes, and we tried to chase the game for most of the match. Disappointed because we had a couple of chances were we could have done better and it would have been a different game."

On the turning point in the match: "In a game like today, a semifinal, knockout competition you need to take your chances. You have to give credit, they have players that make a difference and they took their chances. Again, disappointed, but the way our guys played, with urgency, hard work, effort, all that was there."

On the belief they can still make the playoffs: "Yes, that is the approach we have to take."

Jonathan Bornstein

On his feelings towards the match: "It is very disappointing; we had a very good opportunity in front off us to make our first U.S. Open Cup Final. Giving up three goals and losing the game is more disappointing than anything. Now we have to look forward to Saturday and another big game."

On his view of the match: "The first goal came off a counter attack on the left side. I gave a cross and it gets headed out where Zakuani goes down the line. He was able to pass to Nate Jaqua, a pretty easy goal for him. I think it was hard fought from there on out. I was just coming out from halftime and I heard the second goal was very similar to the first. I thought our guys showed a lot of heart in the second half to get the goal and fight. In the end it wasn't there for us."

On coming off the pitch at half: "I just took a little bit of a knock; with a couple of games coming we thought it would be smart to get ready for Saturday. We didn't want to make it worse than it already was."

On not getting a chance to win a U.S. Open Cup: "Very disappointing, for me personally it was a big game. I was disappointed to come out at half and it is probably the last Open Cup I will play in at least a while."