In the meanwhile, here are some useful basic background provided by the club:
Going for history
Since their inception in 2009, Sounders FC have sought to make history, both on the pitch and in the stands. The crowds have filled the stands for 61 consecutive sellouts, establishing season records for average attendance in each of the first three years. On the pitch, the Rave Green have proven the most successful expansion side since 1998, qualifying to the playoffs each season and winning three Open Cup titles.
Sounders FC will go for history again this season as the club attempts to become the first team in the tournament’s 99-year history to win three successive Open Cup championships. In 2011 Seattle became the first club in 42 years and fourth altogether to win the Open Cup three consecutive years. Historically, MLS teams have dominated the Open Cup since beginning their involvement in 1996, winning 15 of the last 16 championships, and the only exception was second-tier Rochester’s triumph 1999.
U.S. Soccer recognizes four clubs as three-peaters. The New York Greek-Americans completed the feat in 1967-69. The Fall River (Mass.) Marksmen won back-to-back titles in 1930-31, then moved to nearby New Bedford (Mass.) and became the Whalers before winning again in 1932. A new sponsor was the only change during the three-peat run of St. Louis Stix, Baer & Fuller and St. Louis Central Breweries from 1933-35.
Cup format notes
If any U.S. Open Cup game is tied at the end of regulation, a 30-minute extra time period (consisting of two 15-minute halves) shall be played in its entirety. If the score is still tied at the end of the 30-minute extra time period, the game shall be decided by a penalty kick tiebreaker. Teams are limited to five foreign players on the 18-player match roster and only one assist is counted in the official records.
The Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 97 consecutive years dating back to 1914. It is the oldest annual tournament in U.S. team sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor longtime soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
Open Cup history in Seattle
A Seattle team has advanced to the Open Cup semifinals each of the last five years. Sounders FC won the title in 2009 and 2010. The USL-1 Sounders reached that stage in both 2007 (against FC Dallas) and 2008 (Charleston). Prior to the Sounders FC victory over D.C. United in 2009, the only Seattle club to qualify for an Open Cup final was the amateur Mitre Eagles in 1987. The Eagles fell to Club Espana of Washington, D.C., on penalties following a scoreless draw. While the NASL Sounders did not participate in the Open Cup, the A-League Sounders competed on an annual basis, beginning in 1995. They lost to El Paso in the semifinals that season, and also advanced to the final four in 1996.