TUKWILA, Wash. - It was just like old times for some of the Seattle Sounders FC.
Just like they had for two years in the USL, Sebastien Le Toux combined with forward-mate Roger Levesque on several balls on the Starfire turf in Tuesday night’s US Open Cup play-in game against Real Salt Lake. The result was two goals and two assists for Le Toux and three assists for Levesque in Seattle’s 4-1 win to advance to face the Colorado Rapids in the next play-in round for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
“It was fun. It was good to be so near the fans. They are awesome,” said Le Toux. “It was nice to come back here and play on this field.”
Seattle held possession for most of the game’s first 25 minutes and it finally paid off when Levesque earned a penalty kick when he battled for positioning inside the box and was knocked down from behind by Tony Beltran. Le Toux connected on the penalty kick to give Seattle the 1-0 lead in the 25th minute.
In the 27th minute, the USL connection ran even deeper when four former USL players connected a run through the middle of the field that ended with Sanna Nyassi blasting a shot into the net. Zach Scott played a ball forward from the edge of the 18, finding Levesque just across midfield. While falling to the turf, he snuck the ball to Le Toux, who hesitated to draw Salt Lake’s defense, then dropped the ball off for Nyassi charging up the middle. He took one touch, then toe-poked a shot past RSL goalkeeper Chris Seitz for the 2-0 lead.
Will Johnson put Salt Lake on the board in the 32nd minute when he rifled a shot past Chris Eylander, who finished the game with two saves to earn the victory.
That 2-1 score held into the second half, but Seattle went back on the offensive in the 50th minute. Levesque and Le Toux worked a nifty give-and-go through the midfield and Le Toux led Nyassi to his right. Nyassi fired off a shot from 23 yards out, but it went wide.
Le Toux touched a pass to Stephen King inside the box in the 52nd minute, but his shot was stopped by Seitz.
Then in the 53rd minute, Levesque back-heeled a ball to Le Toux who found King for a bullet that found the back of the net for a 3-1 lead.
“I was a little frustrated with myself after the first one. I thought I should have put that one away,” King said. “I just tried to push forward on the next opportunity and luckily Roger and Seba had a nice play and found me. I just hit it as hard as I could and it went in.”
Just minutes later, Levesque gathered the ball on the right edge of the box and crossed it to Le Toux at the far post for a twisting shot that put Seattle up 4-1, prompting Levesque to turn and pump his fist toward the crowd.
The Sounders held on down the stretch to come away with the victory in convincing fashion, their second of the season over Real Salt Lake.
“Obviously, the result was great for us tonight, and it was good to get some guys on the field who haven’t been playing a lot and for them to make our job as difficult as possible as coaches,” head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Overall, I was really pleased with how we played. They had some chances towards the end, but at that point, our foot was off the gas pedal a little bit.”
The Sounders next play on the road against the Chicago Fire on Saturday. Their next US Open Cup play-in game will be against the Rapids, who topped the LA Galaxy on penalties April 7.