Sounders FC is poised to face the Philadelphia Union in the club's fifth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final in Seattle’s six years in MLS. Here is a look back at the 10 most memorable matches that have put Seattle in a position to vie for its fourth Open Cup title at PPL Park on Tuesday.
10. 6/24/2014, 1-1 (4-1) vs. San Jose Earthquakes
In the fifth round of the Open Cup tournament this year, Sounders FC put in a dominating performance, but had trouble finding the net, scoring just once in 31 shots against the Earthquakes. That left the two sides even at 1-1 through 120 minutes at Starfire, forcing a penalty kick shootout. There, all four players scored for Seattle while goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was able to make a save on one shot and coax a miss on another to give Seattle a 4-1 win on PKs.
9. 8/8/2012, 1-1 (2-3) vs. Sporting Kansas City
In the club’s fourth consecutive finals appearance, Zach Scott was in the middle of both goals. The veteran defender was whistled for a penalty on one end, then scored on a corner kick to equalize, forcing a shootout at Sporting Park. Seattle wasn’t able to earn a fourth title, though, as Kansas City won 3-2 in PKs.
8. 8/13/2014, 6-0 vs. Chicago Fire
Sounders FC left little doubt in the 2014 semifinal, scoring early and often against a struggling Chicago team. Seattle got two goals each from Andy Rose and Kenny Cooper while Chad Barrett and Obafemi Martins also scored to put Sounders FC into the club’s fifth Open Cup final in six seasons.
7. 6/26/2012, 1-0 vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Just two days after facing the Portland Timbers on the road, Seattle traveled to San Francisco to face the Earthquakes at Kezar Stadium. Using a makeshift lineup, Sounders FC got a late goal from Cordell Cato to hold off San Jose for a 1-0 victory in the quarterfinal.
6. 6/30/2010, 1-1 (4-3) vs. Portland Timbers
For the second straight year, Seattle met its old USL rivals in the third round of the Open Cup at PGE Park. Nate Jaqua scored an early goal for Sounders FC, but Portland got the equalizer and sent the match to a shootout. There, Zach Scott scored the winning penalty to send Sounders FC through with a 4-3 win.
5. 7/21/2009, 2-1 vs. Houston Dynamo
In the 2009 semifinal, Seattle hosted the Houston Dynamo at Starfire Stadium after outlasting the Kansas City Wizards two weeks earlier on a last-minute penalty. This time, it took an 89th minute goal from Nate Jaqua to equalize after Houston held a 1-0 lead for 57 minutes. Stephen King added the game-winner just four minutes into the first overtime period and Seattle nabbed a 2-1 win to reach the final.
4. 7/1/2009, 2-1 vs. Portland Timbers
Sounders FC’s first match in the tournament-proper proved to be a memorable one. It came on the road against the club’s biggest rivals from the USL and NASL eras, the Portland Timbers, and former USL standout Roger Levesque made sure to remind the 16,382 fans on hand at PGE Park why he was so loved in Seattle and loathed in Portland. Levesque scored 48 seconds into the match to cement his legacy as a Timber-slayer and Seattle would go on to win 2-1.
3. 10/5/2010, 2-1 vs. Columbus Crew
After winning the club’s first championship on the road a year earlier, the 2010 tournament culminated with a crowd of 31,311 at CenturyLink Field as Head Coach Sigi Schmid met his former club the Columbus Crew. The visitors got out to an early lead, but Sanna Nyassi had a breakout performance, scoring two goals to hoist the Open Cup trophy for the second consecutive year.
2. 10/4/2011, 2-0 vs. Chicago Fire
Sounders FC dominated the 2011 final, but still couldn’t crack Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson until the 78th minute when Fredy Montero got Seattle out to a 1-0 lead. As the minutes whittled away on the clock, the Fire tried to force overtime, but Osvaldo Alonso sealed the match when he dribbled through and around the defense before rolling a shot into the net for a 2-0 victory six minutes into stoppage time. Another record crowd of 35,615 celebrated as Seattle became the first team in decades to win three straight Open Cup titles.
1. 9/2/2009, 2-1 vs. D.C. United
It was a tense match as Seattle looked to lift the first trophy in club history just six and a half months after its inaugural match. The hype machine was kicked into high gear as the most decorated club in MLS hosted the new kids in town in the Open Cup final. For Sounders FC, past and present collided at RFK Stadium as Seattle newcomer Fredy Montero scored the first goal and mainstay Roger Levesque scored a second to lift Seattle to a 2-1 win. That match, perhaps more than any other in 2009, opened the league’s eyes that Seattle was going to be a force from the beginning and the club went on to win three straight titles.