2012 Jun 26

Sounders ace Earthquakes to advance to semis on the road

San Jose Earthquakes  0 - 1  Seattle Sounders FC

Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, CA

19' SEA: Cordell Cato

San Jose: David Bingham; Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Ike Opara, Justin Morrow; Rafael Baca (Marvin Chavez 80'), Khari Stephenson (Chris Wondolowski 54'), Sam Cronin, Tressor Moreno (Steven Lenhart 54'), Shea Salinas; Alan Gordon (sent off 90').
Substitutes not used: Jon Busch, Jean-Marc Alexandre, Jason Hernandez, Jed Zayner.

Seattle: Andrew Weber; Brad Evans, Patrick Ianni, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez; Cordell Cato (Marc Burch 83'), Servando Carrasco, Andy Rose, Alvaro Fernandez (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 89'); Roger Levesque, Sammy Ochoa (Eddie Johnson 76').
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Alex Caskey, Mike Seamon, Fredy Montero.

Match report from Sounders FC:

Late last season, having fallen out of playoff contention, the San Jose Earthquakes brought Trinidadian youth international Cordell Cato to California for a multi-week trial.

Tuesday, the Quakes probably wished they would have signed him.

Cato went on to join Seattle Sounders FC this winter, and the 19-year-old exacted his revenge at Kezar Stadium, delivering a first-half goal that put the three-time defending US Open Cup champions into the semifinals of this year’s tournament.

Seattle held off a furious second-half onslaught from San Jose, the MLS Supporters' Shield leaders, and made Cato's goal hold up for a 1-0 win.

The Sounders will host Chivas USA in the semifinals on July 10 at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.

It was the first win by the Sounders against MLS competition since May 9, perhaps hinting at a return to form for Seattle, who are on an 0-4-3 slide in league play.

Cato scored his first goal as a Sounder in the 19th minute, catching up with a lead pass originally ticketed for Seattle forward Sammy Ochoa just before it crossed the end line to the right of San Jose's goal. Striking from an acute angle, Cato kept his shot low and slid the ball between the legs of San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham.

The Quakes, who have four comeback wins and three ties in MLS play this season, poured players forward following the insertion of Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart in the 53rd minute, but never could find an equalizer.

Andrew Weber, whose contract option was not picked up by San Jose this winter, picked up the shutout in his USOC debut with Seattle.

In a game that grew more fractious in the second half, Quakes forward Alan Gordon received a red card in second-half stoppage time, and Seattle's Eddie Johnson delivered a blow to an unidentified San Jose reserve after the final whistle.

The Sounders waited at midfield until security could safely escort them off the pitch and past an announced crowd of 7,219.

San Jose coach Frank Yallop sat seven usual starters, including Wondolowski, who leads MLS with 13 goals, and Lenhart, who has five. Joining them on the bench were goalkeeper Jon Busch, defender Jason Hernandez and midfielder Marvin Chavez. Injured midfielder Simon Dawkins was absent, and captain Ramiro Corrales got the night off.

           SJ   SEA
Shots:      7     8
Saves:      4     4
Corners:   11     3
Fouls:     12     9
Offsides:   3     1

49' SJ: Gordon cautioned for a foul in Seattle's end
51' SEA: Scott cautioned for a tactical foul on Salinas
68' SJ: Beitashour cautioned
75' SJ: Morrow cautioned for a careless foul on Levesque
82' SEA: Rose cautioned for a careless foul on Chavez
90' SJ: Gordon sent off for head butting Burch in retaliation for being pushed
90' SEA: Burch cautioned for pushing Gordon

Referees: Yader Reyes; Ian Anderson, Veronica Perez; Vince Cortez

Attendance: 7,219

Post-Match Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

"We knew what type of players they had. We wanted to make sure we had the ability to match that. Based upon our last few league results it was about understanding that we needed to be tougher to play against as a team. We had to make a lot of lineup changes because of the timing of the game. We were able to accomplish all that and pull out a victory.

"The character was fantastic. Leo Gonzalez hasn't played 90 minutes forever and played 90 today. Roger Levesque hasn't played 90 minutes and played that today. Ochoa gave us a good 75. Cato comes up with a big goal. We asked evans to play a different position. There were a lot of guys that sacrificed a little bit and gave up a little bit of their ego for us to succeed today. That's what we've been talking about lately. We've got to give up a little bit of our ego to and sacrifice for the sake of the team.

"It was an important game. Not only winning against a MLS team, but going on the road. There was a lot of people that thought, 'Oh the Sounders can't win the Open Cup if they have to play on the road.' We dealt with only having about 48 hours of rest. So we overcame a lot of things today. That can help the team because you realize that obstacles are there but that obstacles are there to be overcome and we can overcome those obstacles."

Cordell Cato

"It's tremendous. Winning three years in a row. Us having an opportunity to write history and to become the first team to win it four years in a row. For me, it's even more important because I haven't won it yet. I'm even more fired up than the whole team, which is good. We're going to push hard and do whatever we can in the semifinal to go the final."

Andrew Weber

"What we've been going through is pretty rough. We haven't been playing bad soccer, but we haven't been mentally tough at certain times in the game. It's big for everyone.

"It felt good. Finally we're on top. They have to dig out of the hole. The guys held up in the back as well. Everyone did their part today and fought.

"All those guys know their position. Brad did really well in the back. He's got the natural leadership ability. Everyone did really well. I was really proud of them."

Roger Levesque

"That's what we were just talking about in the locker room: Games like this are how rivalries start. I think both teams at this point need to take a little time to cool down, but absolutely we're looking forward to the next time we play each other.

"I think it's just a battle. In a cup game when it's do or die, both teams are out there fighting. There are groups that maybe aren't the first team but the players out there were willing to fight and the commitment to the game was so intense that guys were going to do anything to win. That's the way it was out there. It was an all-out war. Not a whole lot of soccer being played in that second half. Definitely a whole lot of fight in these two teams.

"We take a lot of pride in the Open Cup. We've done it since the USL days, those of us that are still around from back then. Having won the Cup the last three years, it's the same thing. Coming out each time and playing as hard as we can.

"Every time I step on the field, I'm not as young as I once was, so I try and enjoy it and just do whatever I can to help this team win. This one is a little bit special. We're going to push for it and give it our best shot.

"Emotions were definitely running high for both teams. There's no question about that. It's just one of those things where guys get tangled up and there's so much passion involved in the game. I don't know what necessarily happened or what caused each little scuffle, but there were plenty of them on the field. Guys coming up and getting in each other faces. that's all part of the game. I think everyone is out there fighting and doing whatever they can to win the game. Credit to both teams for showing that much passion, that much fight and that much desire. That's how rivalry starts and how this game gets really exciting.

"Anytime you can win a game like that, maybe it's not the prettiest soccer, but at the same time you come together and you fight for each other. Hopefully something like that can create momentum heading into the next game and beyond. We're fortunate to have a quick turnaround, we play on Saturday, so this will be fresh in our minds. The fight and determination we showed today will hopefully shine through on Saturday as well.

"There's up and downs to any season. Just have to keep an even keel. The ultimate goal is to be playing your best soccer at the end of the season."

San Jose Earthquakes

Frank Yallop - Head Coach

On performance of the Quakes: "You have to give Seattle credit for the way they defended. We just couldn't quite get the touch we needed in the last 35 minutes. What I liked about the performance was that we pushed; we pushed the issue in the game and on a difficult pitch. Both teams struggled to play decent football. We had to go direct and I thought we were effective without scoring. Spirit wise, I thought it was a good performance.

On playing Seattle: "I think there is always a rivalry between us and Seattle. We beat them this year once at their home and they beat us here in the Cup. We got to play them twice again, so we're going to look forward to that."

Chris Wondolowski

On end of the game: "We have two heated rivals going against each other on the field for 90 minutes. We're both good teams this year so there will be a lot of fight and a lot of heart, and when you put 22 guys together running around on a small bumpy field ... there's going to be a lot of fire."

On Earthquakes' offensive struggles during the game: "I thought we did a really good job playing in the second half. We got the ball wide and were getting a lot of crosses in, but Seattle played well. Defensively, they were organized and they deserve a lot of credit. Their keeper had a few nice saves on us and that's a recipe for a shutout."

Sam Cronin

On second half: "It's an important game so you know it'll get rough and competitive towards the end. It was tough to find a rhythm and the field was bumpy and unpredictable."