With the U.S. Open Cup final just three days away, Sigi Schmid made some changes in his lineup and rested a few of the key players leading up to Tuesday's Cup final match against the Chicago Fire. Despite a few shaky areas in the lineup, the Sounders still managed to come away with all three points, defeating the New England Revolution by a score of 2-1. The Sounders are now 6 points clear of Real Salt Lake for second place and are now just a point away from securing home field advantage in the MLS Cup Quarterfinal. The Sounders return home to Seattle tomorrow morning after a long traveling week to Vancouver, B.C., Guatemala City and Foxborough. My guess is they will have Sunday off and then get back to training on Monday for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final on Tuesday night at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff time for that match is 7pm on FOX Soccer and will also be aired on 97.3 KIRO FM. The Sounders will look to become the first team since the New York Greek-Americans to win their third consecutive U.S. Open Cup title.
New England thought they had a goal in the opening minutes of the game. Benny Feilhaber's free kick was headed out of the area by a Seattle defender. Ryan Guy headed it back into the danger area and it fell to Milton Caraglio who headed it into the far post, but the offside flag was up. The replay however showed that the assistant referee got that wrong and that should've been the opening goal for the New England Revolution. In the 20th minute, Ryan Guy's delivery found 16-year old Diego Fagundez from point blank range who just tucked his shot wide of Kasey Keller's left. Three minutes later, Fagundez spun away from Patrick Ianni and Seattle were caught on a 2 on 1 break. Fagundez fed it across to a wide open Ryan Guy who took one touch and was denied by the veteran Kasey Keller. That one touch may have eluded Ryan Guy. New England started the game brightly for the first 35 minutes of the game. The only Sounders player who looked lively in the early stages of the game was David Estrada.
In the 35th minute, the young lad who the Revs are very high on, opened up the scoring in this match. Benny Feilhaber sent in a brilliant cross off the corner kick to the middle of the danger area and the man getting on the end of it was Diego Fagundez, coming in unmarked to head home his second professional goal in his fourth professional appearance. New England is very very high on this young kid, only 16-years old. He scored on his MLS debut on August 6th against Chivas USA. He will become more of a threat in years to come. If he gets a lot of playing time next season, he could end up hitting the 10 goal mark, or close to it. I may be bluffing here, but as Arlo White said, this guy has a great future as a footballer.
The lead however lasted only a minute and a half. In the 36th minute, it's the red hot Fredy Montero once again. After an error on Ryan Cochrane's attempted clearance, Montero pounced on the ball and curled it into the far corner for his team leading 10th goal of the year.
In the 48th minute, it was Montero once again. David Estrada's effort was deflected by a Revolution defender. The ball fell to Nate Jaqua who chested it to Fredy Montero who toe poked it past Matt Reis and into the back of the goal for his third brace of the season and oh yes.... to give Seattle the lead. And that goal turned out to be the difference as Seattle sweeps New England in the season series winning 2-1 in both matches.
The Sounders return home for their final homestand of the season with four matches in all compititions and let me say it again. The first of the four will be on Tuesday against the Chicago Fire in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final and I will be there to catch it. They get back to MLS action on Saturday October 8th against former Sounder Sebastien Le Toux and the Philadelphia Union.
New England Revolution - Diego Fagundez 2 (Benny Feilbaber 5) 35'
Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero 10 (unassisted) 36'
Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero 11 (Nate Jaqua 2) 48'
Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero (caution; Reckless tackle) 28'
New England Revolution - Milton Caraglio (caution; Reckless tackle) 84'
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller; Roger Levesque, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl; David Estrada, Erik Friberg (Osvaldo Alonso 79'), Servando Carrasco, Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 46'); Nate Jaqua, Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 68')
New England Revolution - Matt Reis; Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Darius Barnes 68'), A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney; Ryan Guy, Shalrie Joseph, Benny Feilhaber, Monsef Zerka (Pat Phelan 69'); Milton Caraglio, Diego Fagundez