The Sounders will train around midday, so I should be back in the early afternoon with more information on them and their coming U.S. Open Cup fourth-round match against Cal FC, the amateur side that improbably won at Portland last night. (Highlights above, Oregonian’s shellshocked account here.)
However, it’s already obvious that this will be an Open Cup match unlike any other in the Sounders (unbeaten) history in the tournament. Here is a full account from TheCup website. And blog commenter Derek Young explains why nicely below:
Cal FC is an amateur club playing at the USASA level. Basically they’re a very good beer league team. This one happens to be former pros and guys that missed USL signings put together by Wynalda, but they’ve only played together for about two months and are barely able to practice once a week. Portland had a ton of shots, including a missed PK, but their keeper (who played with Kitsap last year) was able to handle it or they sailed high.
So now we’ll play this Cal FC club next week. The thing is, I’m not sure if they can afford to get up here. They were wearing kinda thrown together kits because MLS refused to allow them to wear the Fire handmedowns they had planned to use.
Amazing story. Too bad we’ll have to end it.
Even though this shapes up as something of a David and Goliath type match, we’ll see how easy that last sentence will be for the Sounders. It should be remembered that while the MLS teams joined the tournament this week, Cal FC and others have been in for all three rounds. That means Cal FC didn’t just have a special night against the Timbers. To even get to that game they first knocked off the Kitsap Pumas, 3-1, and then Wilmington, 4-0.
Seattle will be rightly favored. But every now and then, sports provides a real-life “Hoosiers.”
This could be a fascinating week.