Thursday, August 9, 2012
Not this time for the Sounders; Sporting Kansas City win the 2012 U.S. Open Cup final
The Seattle Sounders since joining Major League Soccer, have won three straight U.S. Open Cup titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and last night had a chance to become the first ever team to win four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles in a row, but it just wasn't to be. The Sounders and Sporting Kansas City battled it out all night long, but in the end it was Sporting Kansas City who lifted the trophy. The Sounders fell to Sporting Kansas City fell 3-2 on penalties which ended their three year title run. It was a physical battle between both sides from start to finish with a few controversial decisions but the bottomline is, KC are the new U.S. Open Cup Champions and for the Sounders, if they want to qualify for their fourth straight CONCACAF Champions League they're gonna have to do it the hard way by winning the Supporters Shield (finishing 1st overall in the regular season) or by reaching the MLS Cup final.
Kansas City enjoyed a good spell of possession early on and in the 12th minute, Kei Kamara got around Zach Scott and got off a tough shot. But his effort sailed high and wide.
In the 24th minute, Kamara had another chance at goal and this time he game the Sounders a real scare. After some lousy ball movement in the middle of the field, Graham Zusi poked the ball to Kamara who had lots of room. Zach Scott didn't come over to pressure him so Kamara gave it a go and the ball dipped over the head of Michael Gspurning, but the bar saved Seattle. Looking at the replay, the shot may have been deflected by Andy Rose, but you can not give Kei Kamara any space outside the area because he can really hit those shots out there.
About five minutes later, the Sounders nearly had a set piece opportunity and nearly made it count. Mauro Rosales, who has really turned his game around after a slow start, sent in an outswinger to the middle for Eddie Johnson for a downward header just outside the six yard area, but Jimmy Nielsen got down in time to deny Johnson who has 11 goals in all competitions and seven of those have been off his head. Johnson has become a primary target in the box in these situations.
In the 38th minute, Seth Sinovic turned past Mauro Rosales and had a go from distance and most of the Sporting KC supporters thought that was in, but it hit side netting.
Kei Kamara stepped up first for Sporting KC. Kamara went to the left side this time and Michael Gspurning was unlucky here because he guess right and got both hands to the ball, but it found the net and Sporting led 1-0. Brad Evans took the Sounders first attempt and went to the left side as well, sending goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen the wrong way. So it was 1-1 after round one.
In the second round, Roger Espinoza took the second PK attempt for Sporting. Espinoza went for placement and tried to slide the ball inside the left post, but Michael Gspurning guessed correctly and made the save. It was an awful penalty by Espinoza. With a chance to put Seattle in the driver's seat, Marc Burch stepped up to take Seattle's second penalty and he made no mistake as he powered it right down the middle and it was advantage Seattle. 2-1 Sounders after two rounds.
In round three, Matt Besler went for KC and he scored off the top of the crossbar. For the Sounders, Ozzie Alonso stepped up, looking to keep the advantage on his team's side but he skied his shot over the bar. I liked idea by Alonso, he got his foot behind the ball and struck it as hard as he could, but he got too far under it. So it was 2-2 after three rounds. It remained 2-2 after four rounds after both teams failed to convert their attempts.
It was a bit unfortunate for the Sounders to lose in the U.S. Open Cup. It was a hard fought battle. I thought the back line did very well. Michael Gspurning of course did very well in net for the Sounders. The Sounders have to put this loss behind and get ready for an even bigger match at San Jose against the Earthquakes. Hopefully by matchday, the lads are well rested and fully prepared for that one. Congrats to Sporting KC for winning the Open Cup title.
Sporting Kansas City - Kei Kamara (penalty kick) 84'
Seattle Sounders FC - Zach Scott (Mauro Rosales) 86'
Sporting Kansas City - Kei Kamara (GOAL; 1-0)
Seattle Sounders FC - Brad Evans (GOAL; 1-1)
Sporting Kansas City - Roger Espinoza (SAVED; 1-1)
Seattle Sounders FC - Marc Burch (GOAL; 1-2)
Sporting Kansas City - Matt Besler (GOAL; 2-2)
Seattle Sounders FC - Osvaldo Alonso (MISS; 2-2)
Sporting Kansas City - Graham Zusi (MISS; 2-2)
Seattle Sounders FC - Christian Tiffert (SAVED; 2-2)
Sporting Kansas City - Paulo Nagamura (GOAL; 3-2)
Seattle Sounders FC - Eddie Johnson (MISS; 3-2)
* Sporting Kansas City win 3-2 on Penalties
Seattle Sounders FC - Osvaldo Alonso (caution; dissent) 4'
Seattle Sounders FC - Mauro Rosales (caution; foul) 57'
Seattle Sounders FC - Patrick Ianni (caution; foul) 73'
Seattle Sounders FC - Zach Scott (caution; foul) 93'
Seattle Sounders FC - Patrick Ianni (caution; foul) 118'
Seattle Sounders FC - Patrick Ianni (ejection; second yellow) 118'
Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning; Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leonardo Gonzalez; Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose (Christian Tiffert 69'), Alex Caskey (Brad Evans 69'); Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero (Marc Burch 105')
Sporting Kansas City - Jimmy Nielsen; Chance Myers, Lawrence Olum, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic (Michael Harrington 100'); Graham Zusi, Julio Cesar, Paulo Nagamura, Roger Espinoza; Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury (C.J. Sapong 88')