In the second time in four days, the Seattle Sounders played against the L.A. Galaxy. This time, however, they came to our turf, and played not for league position but for a chance to raise the Open Cup. And this time, Seattle sent the Galaxy back south without a goal.â†µ
Fans filled the stands at Starfire, spilling over on to the grassy knolls and creating a party atmosphere despite the fact that the 3-1 loss on Sunday still lingered in the back of most people’s minds. To the relief of many, L.A. stars Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle weren’t even on the bench, and many other starters were kept on the sidelines. Seattle made similar changes, resting Fredy Montero, Freddie Ljungberg, Kasey Keller and other familiar names.â†µ
From the beginning of the match, it was clear that Seattle would be able to dominate. The Sounders controlled possession, and whenever the ball managed to find its way to the Galaxy side of the field, Jeff Parke and Patrick Ianni did a solid job of ensuring that the Sounders’ back-up keeper, Terry Boss, barely needed to work up a sweat.â†µ
Even with the score at 0-0 through the half, it seemed inevitable that the Sounders would find a goal. Their first came in the 50th minute, when the young Columbian Miguel Montano took a shot that bounced off the crossbar and on to the line. Nate Jaqua was waiting to head it in to the open net. Twelve minutes later and the same two players combined again, when a Montano cross met Jaqua at the far post, and his diving header once again put the ball in the back of the net.â†µ
Sounders fans have had a dismal time of it lately, but those two goals sent the faithful at Starfire into an ecstatic frenzy. Even as a shot at the playoffs slips further away for the Sounders, supporters can still hold out hope for a triumph in the Open Cup. Should Seattle succeed in claiming the trophy for the second year in a row, they would be the first team in MLS history to do so.â†µ
The Seattle Sounders will continue their defense of the U.S. Open Cup on September 1, when they will face Chivas USA, who defeated the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday to earn their place in the semi-finals.