USA: Seattle to face Chicago in US Open Cup final
Seattle Sounders have qualified for their third straight US Open Cup final having defeated FC Dallas in Tuesday’s all-MLS clash. They will meet Chicago Fire in October’s showpiece match in America’s knockout competition who beat lower league Richmond Kickers by the odd goal in three.
Seattle Sounders have been victorious in the last two US Open Cup competitions defeating Columbus Crew and DC United in 2010 & 2009 respectively. Tuesday’s semi-final was played in front of a noisy crowd at the Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, as opposed to their usual home at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, and the change of venue didn’t deter the Sounders from reaching their third consecutive final. Freddy Montero’s 40th minute strike proved the difference between the Sounders and FC Dallas who were hoping to reach their first final since 2007 but whose title drought remains having won this competition for the only time in 1997. As for the Sounders they are hoping to become the third team to win the US Open Cup three years running and follow in the footsteps of the elaborately named New York Greek American, who won the cup from 1967-69, and the long forgotten Stix, Baer and Fuller Football Club who were the first team to accomplish this feat from 1933-35.
If Seattle Sounders are to make history then they will have to beat Chicago Fire in the final on October 4th but the Sounders will have the advantage of playing at their home stadium. Chicago Fire had a tough semi-final match against Richmond Kickers, a team from the third-tier USL Professional League, eventually coming out 2-1 winners. The Fire took a two goal lead thanks to goals from Sebastián Grazzini (32nd minute) and Dominic Oduro (61st minute) but the Kickers, who had knocked out MLS clubs Sporting Kansas City and Columbus Crew in the previous two rounds, pulled one back in the 68th minute through Yomby William. Sadly for the Kickers they were unable to get a crucial equalizer and Chicago, who have won more US Open Cups than any other MLS team with four victories, will hope to clinch a fifth title in their first final since 2006.
The winners of the cup will gain a place in the preliminary rounds of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League.