Match Recap

RECAP: Sounders defeat Sacramento Republic, secure spot in U.S. Open Cup semifinal

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The Seattle Sounders defeated the USL Championship’s Sacramento Republic FC 2-1 on Tuesday night at Heart Health Park in Sacramento, Calif., in the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Josh Atencio and Jordan Morris gave the Sounders a 2-0 first-half lead before Sebastián Herrera pulled one back for the hosts early in the second half.

The Sounders took the lead inside 16 minutes when Reed Baker-Whiting played a cross in from the left flank that was headed away only as far as Atencio at the top of the box. Atencio took a touch off his chest and then fired a half-volley on goal that took a heavy deflection and beat goalkeeper Danny Vitiello.

Sacramento’s first good look on goal came in the 22nd minute when Cristian Parano made a great run on the left side, but his shot skipped just past the far post.

The Sounders doubled their lead in the 31st minute when Baker-Whiting played a tremendous through ball with the outside of his foot to find Morris in stride in behind on the left. Morris deftly touched the ball beyond an onrushing Vitiello before calmly depositing a left-footed finish into an open goal.

Yeimar nearly added a third goal in the second minute of first-half stoppage time. Albert Rusnák whipped in a dangerous free kick that found Yeimar’s head, but his effort was parried away by a diving Vitiello.

Herrera gave Sac Republic life in the 49th minute when he headed home a corner kick at the back post to halve the deficit.

Vitiello made another great save in the 69th minute to deny a header from Raúl Ruidíaz off a cross from Baker-Whiting.

Sac Republic had a goal waived off in the 87th minute when Trevor Amann was whistled offside on a cross that interfered with Sounders goalkeeper Andrew Thomas.

The Sounders will host the winner of LAFC and USL Championship club New Mexico United in the semifinal of the U.S. Open Cup on Aug. 27 or 28. Ticket informing coming soon.

Fellow USL Championship side Indy Eleven defeated MLS’ Atlanta United 2-1 earlier on Tuesday to book their trip to the other semifinal and will await the winner of Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas.

Seattle returns to MLS play this Saturday when it heads to Texas to take on Western Conference opponent Austin FC (5:30 p.m. PT; Watch free on Apple TV, 93.3 KJR FM, El rey 1360AM).

THREE TAKEAWAYS

Morris can’t stop scoring

Make that eight goals in his last 10 appearances in all competitions for Morris. The Mercer Island native has been sensational in his recent move back to the No. 9 position for Head Coach Brian Schmetzer and scored his first Open Cup goal in his first Open Cup game since 2016.

Atencio leaves his mark

Atencio earned the start in central midfield alongside João Paulo on Tuesday and took his opportunity by the horns. The 22-year-old opened the scoring in one of his final acts for the Sounders before heading to France to represent the United States at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Schmetzer makes history

Schmetzer has led Seattle to the Open Cup semifinals for the first time since taking over as Sounders FC manager in 2016. He was a longtime assistant under former Head Coach Sigi Schmid when the Sounders won four Open Cup titles in 2009, ’10, ’11 and ’14.

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