TUKWILA, Wash. -- For the fourth consecutive year, the Sounders have reached the semifinal of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Nate Jaqua scored two second-half goals and Terry Boss held the LA Galaxy scoreless as the Sounders FC blasted past the LA Galaxy 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the Open Cup at Starfire Sports Stadium.
Seattle won the Open Cup in 2009 and, in the USL, reached the semifinal in 2007 and 2008.
“I thought that we did what I wanted us to do. We came out and played with a lot of energy, a lot of desire,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “It didn’t matter who they had on the field. I know they were missing certain people but I thought it was our energy, our defensive pressure that helped create the game that we wanted to create. I’m very happy for the team.”
Jaqua, starting his second Open Cup match after missing the first 14 games of the Major League Soccer season with a lower abdominal injury, put the Sounders up 1-0 in the 50th minute and added a second goal in the 62nd minute to complete the brace. Terry Boss added two saves in his first start for the Sounders FC.
“It was a good team effort. I mean everywhere on the field, everyone battled hard,” Jaqua said. “It was good to get L.A. back after getting beat up down there, it’s good to beat them up at our place.”
Playing against the Galaxy for the second time in four days, Seattle battled through the first half against a veteran LA side. As the second half got under way, Miguel Montano became a menace on the left wing, forcing the Galaxy to commit extra defenders to keep him at bay. That didn’t prevent the young Colombian from making an impact though.
Montano took a pass down the middle of the box from Mike Seamon and shot a left-footed bouncer at LA goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who made the save, but left the rebound open for Montano. He pounced on the putback attempt, but caught the crossbar and the ball bounced down to the right post, where Jaqua headed in the carom to give the Sounders a 1-0 lead.
It was the second straight Open Cup game in 2010 that Jaqua had opened scoring for the Sounders. He gave Seattle a 1-0 lead in their third round victory over the Portland Timbers as well. It was also the third consecutive Open Cup appearance that Jaqua had scored in, dating back to a 2-1 semifinal win over the Houston Dynamo in 2009.
“I was just excited to play and get out there,” Jaqua said. “It’s been so long watching and then I had some good service. I should put those in.”
In the 62nd minute, Montano carried the ball to the endline on the left side, continuing his torment of Galaxy defender Eddie Lewis, before crossing the ball to Jaqua at the far post for a header that he powered into the net for a 2-0 lead, putting away a Galaxy team that topped Seattle 3-1 in MLS play on Sunday.
“We have been playing well,” Montano said of his combination play with Jaqua in recent weeks. “We have been practicing well together, even just the two of us, crossing. That reflected in the game.”
Seattle held on down the stretch and finished with the 2-0 victory.
“It’s definitely big,” Schmid said. “It’s a mentality. Every game you win it becomes a better habit for your team. That’s what we want to establish right now.”
Seattle advances to face Chivas USA in the semifinal September 1 at Starfire. They return to league play to face FC Dallas Sunday at Qwest.
Sounders FC - Nate Jaqua 50; Jaqua (Miguel Montano) 62.
LA Galaxy - None.
Sounders FC - Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl, Sanna Nyassi, Nathan Sturgis, Mike Seamon (James Riley 78), Miguel Montano (Leo Gonzalez 71), Roger Levesque, Nate Jaqua (David Estrada 83).
LA Galaxy - Josh Saunders, AJ DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo (Sean Franklin 71), Eddie Lewis, Chris Klein (Dema Kovalenko 69), Jovan Kirovski (Juninho 72), Clint Mathis, Bryan Jordan, Alex Cazumba, Alan Gordon.