The coin flip to determine home-field advantage for the U.S. Open Cup championship match will take place today at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square.
ESPN FC’s Men in Blazers hosts Roger Bennett and Michael Davies will conduct a show beginning at 6 pm PT on MLSsoccer.com, and toward the end of the show the live coin flips will determine the hosts for each potential matchup in the Open Cup final.
Sounders FC is in its fifth semifinal in the last six years, hosting the Chicago Fire on August 13 at Starfire Stadium. In the other semifinal, FC Dallas will host the Philadelphia Union on August 12. Each team will have a representative at the draw, which will be part of the buildup to Wednesday’s AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Providence Park in Portland.
Seattle has played in four finals since joining MLS in 2009. Sounders FC won finals against D.C. United in 2009 at RFK Stadium and home matches against the Chicago Fire in 2010 and Columbus Crew in 2011 at CenturyLink Field. In 2012, it took a penalty kick shootout with Kansas City at Sporting Park to end the club’s three-year reign as Open Cup champions.
This year’s final will be played either on Sept. 16, Sept. 17 or Oct. 1 and will be televised on GolTV.
NASL SOUNDER BOURNE PASSES AWAY
Former NASL Sounders forward Jeff Bourne died last week after a battle with motor neuron disease. Born in Linton, Derbyshire, England, Bourne broke in as a professional with Linton United and played six seasons with Derby County before making the move to the U.S. in 1976. He would go on to play for the Dallas Tornado, Atlanta Chiefs and the Sounders in the NASL, as well as several clubs on the indoor circuit and with the American Soccer League as well.
He starred for the Sounders in 1980 and 1981, scoring eight goals in 32 matches under Head Coach Alan Hinton.
Bourne was 66 years old. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.
MARSHALL HELD OUT OF ALL-STAR GAME
After being named to his third All-Star Game, Chad Marshall was forced to hold out of the match on Wednesday after suffering a neck sprain last week prior to Seattle’s match with the LA Galaxy. The 29-year-old two-time MLS Defender of the Year has missed just three matches this season – one with an illness and two more as a result of the car accident that caused the neck sprain. He has one goal and two assists in his 17 starts.
Along with Marshall, the LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez and Toronto FC’s Jermaine Defoe were also withheld from the All-Star Game and replaced by Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer, Philadelphia Union midfielder Maurice Edu and D.C. United defenders Bobby Boswell and Sean Franklin. The All-Star Game kicks off on Wednesday at 6:30 pm PT on ESPN2.