A fast start by Nate Jaqua and a clinching goal by Lamar Neagle carried Sounders FC to a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy in a quarterfinal match of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday.
It was the second consecutive season the two-time defending-champion Sounders ousted the Galaxy in the quarterfinal round.
However, unlike last season, Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena started some of his stars, including midfielders Landon Donovan and Juninho.
However, it was Seattle that came out sizzling.
Jaqua put a header off an upright in the third minute. And just a minute later, he connected from about 10 yards, putting the Sounders ahead 1-0.
That lead doubled in the 25th minute, and Jaqua was involved again, this time passing to Fredy Montero, who finished from about 15 yards.
However, down 2-0, the Galaxy seemed to find itself in the final minutes of the first half. And L.A. got back in the game in the 40th minute, when Chris Birchall crossed a ball into the box, and Adam Cristman ran on and slammed it into the back of the net, cutting Seattle’s lead to 2-1 at the half.
The Sounders reclaimed their two-goal lead in the 74th minute when Alvaro Fernandez stole the ball at midfield and created space for himself with a nice inside move. He then passed to Neagle, who finished it, putting Seattle up 3-1.
The game was played before a sellout crowd of 4,322 at Starfire Sports Stadium.
The Sounders will move on to face FC Dallas in a semifinal match Aug. 30 at Starfire.
However next on the schedule for Seattle is a return to MLS play, as the Colorado Rapids visit CenturyLink Field at 1 p.m. Saturday.
I’ll add quotes in a new post above. But here are stats:
SEA — Nate Jaqua (Pat Noonan) 4
SEA — Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua) 25
LA — Adam Cristman (Chris Birchall) 40
SEA — Lamar Neagle (Alvaro Fernandez) 74
LA Galaxy– Josh Saunders, Bryan Jordan, A.J. DeLaGarza, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Chris Birchall, Michael Stephens, Juninho (Jovan Kirovski 78), Landon Donovan (Hector Jimenez 75), Paolo Cardozo (Miguel Lopez 64), Adam Cristman.
Substitutes Not Used: Juan Pablo Angel, Kyle Davies, Brian Perk.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Chris Birchall 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Juninho 2); FOULS: 10 (Gregg Berhalter 4); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 7 (Landon Donovan 6); SAVES: 8 (Josh Saunders 8)
Seattle Sounders — Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Pat Noonan (Erik Friberg 64), Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez, Lamar Neagle, Nate Jaqua (Roger Levesque 71), Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 79).
Substitutes Not Used: Servando Carrasco, James Riley, Mauro Rosales, Kasey Keller.
TOTAL SHOTS: 23 (Lamar Neagle 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 11 (Lamar Neagle 3); FOULS: 17 (Fredy Montero 4); OFFSIDES: 3 (Mike Fucito 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Pat Noonan 2); SAVES: 5 (Terry Boss 5)
SEA — Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Tactical Foul) 22
SEA — Fredy Montero (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 54
SEA — Jeff Parke (caution; Tactical Foul) 55
LA — Paolo Cardozo (caution; Reckless Tackle) 57
SEA — Mike Fucito (caution; Delaying a Restart) 90
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants:-Corey Rockwell; Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Levi Rippy
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-71-degrees
74th minute: GOAL Seattle: Fernandez midfield steal, nice inside move with ball and then pass to Lamar Neagle who scores. 3-1, Sounders.
63rd minute: Friberg in, Noonan out.
Second half: … has begun. No changes.
Halftime: Seattle 2-1. And nice save by Boss in the closing seconds to preserve that.
Seattle outshot LA, 10-8. The Galaxy put five on goal to Seattle’s four. Seattle committed nine fouls, LA five. LA had six corner kicks, Seattle only one. Those stats do not reflect that Seattle had very solid control for about 35 minutes before Los Angeles seemed to find itself.
40th minute: GOAL LA. The game felt like it started turning a bit toward the Galaxy, and now they’s paid off on the scoreboard with Adam Cristman scoring from close, assisted by Birchall.
25th minute: GOAL Seattle. Jaqua — who is everywhere this match — touches a pass in the box to Montero, who finishes solidly. Seattle, 2-0.
Fourth minute: GOAL Seattle. In the third minute, Nate Jaqua headed one off the upright. In the fouth, he finishes from about eight yards inside the far post. Assist Noonan. Seatle, 1-0.
Kickoff: We’re under way. Perhaps the Sounders toughest test yet in their run of Ope Cup perfection. Galaxy in white/white; Sounders in electricity/electricity.
Lineups: Sounders: Boss, Scott, Parke, Ianni, Gonzalez, Noonan, Alonso, Fernandez, Neagle, Jaqua, Montero. Bench is Keller, Carrasco, Friberg, Fucito, Levesque, Riley, Rosales.
LA just tweeted this: Starting XI: Saunders; Dunivant, Berhalter, DeLaGarza, Jordan; Donovan, Juninho, Stephens, Birchall; Cristman, Cardozo
90 minutes to kickoff: The gates are open at Starfire Sports Stadium, and “Sold out” signs are hanging at the ticket area. Kickoff is 7 p.m. — or so. And though there is no TV or radio, the game will be streamed live at SoundersFC.com. And, as usual, we’ll keep this post current with pregame, in-game, and postgame information. Both teams starting lineups should be especially interesting. And to hear coach Sigi Schmid tell it yesterday, even he still doesn’t know which Galaxy players were taken along for this one.
“I find out when we exchange the lineup sheets at the beginning,” he said. “… It’s the same for them. It’s a little bit of a hit and miss. There are obviously some guys who didn’t play for them over the weekend who were out injured: (Chad) Barrett, Sean Franklin, people like that – so are they back into the group, are they not into the group, who’s he going to try and rest, who’s he going to play. Is (A.J.) DeLaGarza back? Those are all questions that we have to look into as we go into the game.”
Game morning: With the U.S. women safely through to the World Cup final, it’s time to return attention to the Sounders and their U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match tonight against LA at Starfire.
Here is our preview story from this morning’s TNT, and some basics below:
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
AT SOUNDERS FC
7 p.m., Starfire Sports Stadium, Tukwila.
TV/RADIO: None. The game will be streamed live at SoundersFC.com.
NOTES: This is a quarterfinal match of the U.S. Open Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation’s national championship, which open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament began in 1914 and is the oldest annual team competition in U.S. sports. … The winner will face FC Dallas in the semifinal round on Aug. 30. Dallas advanced with a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Tuesday. The Sounders would host FCD, while the Galaxy would travel to Frisco, Texas. … The Sounders are two-time defending Open Cup champions. They are trying to become the first team to win three straight since Greek American SC of New York did it from 1967-69. … Seattle’s path to the 2010 title included a 2-0 quarterfinal win over the Galaxy at Starfire. … These are the top two teams in MLS regular season play: L.A. standing 10-2-9, Seattle 9-4-8. In two regular-season meetings this season, the Galaxy won 1-0 in Seattle on March 15, and the clubs tied 0-0 at L.A. on July 4.
QUOTABLE: “I’m sure (the Galaxy is) going to be highly motivated because of what happened last year in the Open Cup. And that was a game last year that helped us sort of get onto a good run at that point.” – Sounders coach Sigi Schmid
NEXT: 1 p.m. Saturday, Colorado Rapids; CenturyLink Field.