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Photo Gallery: 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final

Photos for the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. Seattle Sounders FC beat the Philadelphia Union 3-1 after extra time.

U.S. Open Cup Scoring Leaders Put Entire Focus on Title Opportunity

It is only fitting that the finalists for the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup also have the top two scorers in the tournament’s modern history.

Philadelphia Union striker Sebastien Le Toux, the top scorer with 14 goals, will go up against Seattle Sounders FC forward Kenny Cooper who is tied for second with 13 tallies, when both teams face each other on Tuesday in the U.S. Open Cup Final at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania (7:30 p.m. ET, GolTV).

Tuesday’s game, however, is entirely focused on the trophy and far less about who is leading that scoring race.

“I want him to score two goals, but we win 3-2,” Le Toux said. “So he passes in front of me and we win the Cup.

“The fact that we are both leading scorers is a nice thing, but it’s not what we want. We are both looking at the trophy right now and we want to get it no matter what.”

For both forwards, their professional paths crossed once before when they were New York Red Bulls teammates in 2012. Cooper was the team’s leading scorer that year with 18 goals in MLS play. Le Toux had a down season with five goals between Vancouver and New York that year, but he has found his scoring touch again this season with the Union.

“Seba’s been doing great this year,” Cooper said. “We met each other a long time ago in Dallas and had the opportunity to play with each other in New York a couple years ago. He’s a great guy and a great player. I’m happy for his success and the great form he’s in right now.”

Cooper is in search of his first U.S. Open Cup crown while Le Toux is in search for his second. The French forward assisted Roger Levesque’s game-winning goal in the 2009 U.S. Open Cup Final as the Major League Soccer expansion side Seattle Sounders FC defeated host D.C. United 2-1 at RFK Stadium.

“It’s a competition that I’ve won one time before, so it’s very important,” Le Toux said. “I feel lucky to have won a final five years ago and I just hope to win again. It’ll be difficult, but we’ll try to be ready.”

Sigi Schmid

Along with the title, the U.S. Open Cup winner also will be rewarded with a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League, a familiar competition for Seattle after participating in 2012-13.

“Champions League is a competition that we’ve been in in the past. We enjoy that competition and look forward to it,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Getting knocked out in the semis [against Santos Laguna] the last time around gave us a taste of how close we can get to the final game. Being able to eliminate a team from Mexico (Tigres UANL) was something that was special at the time. But that’s far in the future.”

For Philadelphia-area native and Union interim head coach Jim Curtin, a two-time winner of the U.S. Open Cup, this year’s tournament carries more significance in his eyes.

“It’s something that means a lot to me, being from this city,” Curtin said. “To do it here would be special. It’s different than a player. I’ve won this competition twice as a player and I lost it once as a player, but as a coach it carries a little more weight. As a player you’re a little more selfish in your thinking and that it’s the team and the individuals. Sure, it’s for the city as well. But being from here, I feel more of the weight, not to let the city down. We want to win.”

U.S. Open Cup Press Conference

The Philadelphia Union and Seattle Sounders FC meet in the championship match tomorrow at PPL Park to decide the winner of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Today's final press conference in advance of the game begins at 2 p.m. ET and will feature Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin and midfielder Sebastian LeToux as well as Seattle Sounders FC manager Sigi Schmid and forward Kenny Cooper.

Sounders in Familiar Territory with U.S. Open Cup Title on the Line

Kenny Cooper has a personal incentive to extend Seattle Sounders FC’s dominance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

“Lamar Hunt’s name is on [the trophy],” Cooper said. “Lamar’s name is special to my family. My dad played for the Dallas Tornado, which he owned then, and when I first came to league, he was the owner of FC Dallas, where I started.

“I would love to win with this.”

He will get his opportunity Tuesday in Chester, Pennsylvania, at PPL Park when Seattle plays the Philadelphia Union in the Cup final (7:30 p.m. ET, GolTV), the fifth time in six years it has reached the championship match and chance at a fourth title.

Beside the family pride, a win also would put Cooper on par with his father, Ken Cooper Sr., in bragging rights at holiday family dinners. The British-born elder Cooper, who began his goalkeeping career with the Blackburn Rovers, won the 1971 North American Soccer League title with the Tornado.

“He has an NASL ring,” the younger Cooper said. “He’s one up on me at the moment. I’d love to win an MLS Cup ring one day, be part of a team that wins all three things. We’re fighting for all three trophies: the Supporters’ Shield, MLS and the Open Cup. I’d love to wear a ring like my father.”

Kenny Cooper

Cooper has played in the Open Cup final before, in 2007, when he came on late in the second half but could not rally FC Dallas from a one-goal deficit and the New England Revolution claimed the title with a 3-2 victory.

This season, Cooper  seems to be determined to claim a title. While he has three goals in 20 MLS games, Cooper has scored a tournament-leading six in four games in the Open Cup.

It is a determination that fits well with Seattle’s approach to the U.S. Open Cup, and the team’s seemingly ownership of it.

“We take a lot of pride in the competition,” said Sounders technical director Chris Henderson. “Even when we played as USL challengers, we went pretty deep into the tournament. That has continued on.

“If you have one night off, you’re out. It’s a knockout. I think we’re 21-3, including PKs. There’s a lot pride in the club in this. To be able to go as far we have, it’s one of hardest competitions to win.”

As a player with six different MLS clubs, Henderson only remembers reaching the semifinals, and most of the teams he played on treated the Open Cup as an afterthought.

“It’s certainly not like that here,” Henderson said.

Seattle won the Open Cup over the first three years the club played in Major League Soccer: 2009, 2010 and 2011. It reached the final in 2012 but lost to Sporting Kansas City.

Last year, Seattle lost its opening game in the tournament to the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies, a 1-0 defeat that eliminated the team in the third round. It was a harbinger of a disappointing season that saw the team go winless in its last seven and get eliminated from the MLS Playoffs at the conference semifinal stage.

It was an experience Seattle did not want to repeat. It may seem commonplace for Seattle to win the Cup, but not to the Sounders.

“It never gets routine,” said manager Sigi Schmid, who in addition to the three Open Cups he’s won with Seattle also won one with Columbus, as well as two MLS Cups, a CONCACAF Champions Cup and three College Cups. “To win a fourth Open Cup in six years of existence, I think, is a pretty good statement.

“It’s one of two trophies you can win, maybe although you could count the Supporters’ Shield as a third. I’ve said that if you’re going to enter something, you try to win it. If you’re not trying to win, don’t enter.”

Bradley Recalls 20 Players to Carson to Begin Preparations For FIFA World Cup Qualifier Against Mexico

CHICAGO (Jan. 29, 2009) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has called 20 players back to U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., to begin preparations for the USA’s first match of final round qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. will take on regional rivals Mexico on Feb. 11 in front of a sold-out crowd at Columbus Crew Stadium live on ESPN2, ESPN2 HD and Univision beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The match can be heard live on the Futbol de Primera radio networks, and fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

The 20-man group is made up almost entirely of players who participated in the previous camp from Jan. 4-24 at the HDC, with Columbus Crew defender and two-time World Cup veteran Frankie Hejduk the only new addition. The U.S. team will train in Carson for nine days before departing on Feb. 7 for Columbus.

Fourteen of the players on the roster appeared in the USA’s 3-2 win against Sweden on Jan. 24, including midfielder Sacha Kljestan, who became the second player in U.S. history to score his first three goals all in the same game. Both Robbie Rogers and Chris Wingert made their debut for the full team in the victory.

Tickets for the USA-Mexico clash sold out in 90 minutes following the beginning of the public sale. The match is the first of 10 in the final round hexagonal that will determine the three automatic entrants from CONCACAF into the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In addition to qualifying, the U.S. will compete in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in June, having been drawn into Group B along with five-time World Cup winners Brazil, current World Champion Italy, and Egypt. Just days after the tournament, the U.S. will begin its defense of the CONCACAF Gold Cup title.

U.S. Men’s National Team Training Camp Roster
Carson, Calif.
Jan. 29 – Feb. 7, 2009

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

Birthdate

Caps/G

Hometown

Club

Busch, Jon

GK

5' 10"

165

08/18/1976

1/1

Albany, N.Y.

Chicago Fire (MLS)

Bornstein, Jonathan

D

5' 9"

145

11/07/1984

14/1

Los Alamitos, Calif.

Chivas USA (MLS)

Carroll, Brian

M

5' 10"

155

07/20/1981

7/1

Springfield, Va.

Columbus Crew (MLS)

Ching, Brian

F

6' 1"

195

05/24/1978

33/9

Haleiwa, Hawaii

Houston Dynamo (MLS)

Clark, Ricardo

M

5' 10"

150

05/10/1983

17/1

Jonesboro, Ga.

Houston Dynamo (MLS)

Cooper, Kenny

F

6' 3"

210

10/21/1984

4/2

Dallas, Texas

FC Dallas (MLS)

Davies, Charlie

F

5' 10"

160

06/25/1986

5/1

Manchester, N.H.

Hammarby IF (Sweden)

Gaven, Eddie

M

6' 0

165

10/25/1986

6/1

Hamilton, N.J.

Columbus Crew (MLS)

Hejduk, Frankie

D

5'8

155

08/05/1974

81/6

Cardiff, Calif.

Columbus Crew (MLS)

Hesmer, Will

GK

6' 2"

195

11/23/1981

0/0

Wilson, N.C.

Columbus Crew (MLS)

Holden, Stuart

M

5' 10"

160

08/01/1985

0/0

Houston, Texas

Houston Dynamo (MLS)

Ihemelu, Ugo

D

6' 0 "

184

04/04/1983

2/1

Cedar Hill, Texas

Colorado Rapids (MLS)

Jewsbury, Jack

M

6' 0"

185

04/13/1981

0/0

Springfield, Mo.

Kansas City Wizards (MLS)

Kljestan, Sacha

M

6' 1"

150

09/09/1985

13/3

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Chivas USA (MLS)

Pickens, Matt

GK

6' 3"

200

04/05/1982

0/0

Washington, Mo.

Colorado Rapids (MLS)

Rogers, Robbie

M

5' 10"

165

05/12/1987

1/1

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Columbus Crew (MLS)

Rolfe, Chris

F

5' 8"

145

01/17/1983

10/1

Kettering, Ohio

Chicago Fire (MLS)

Thorrington, John

M

5' 8"

150

10/17/1979

4/1

Palos Verdes, Calif.

Chicago Fire (MLS)

Wingert, Chris

D

5' 10"

155

06/16/1982

1/1

Babylon, N.Y.

Real Salt Lake (MLS)

Wynne, Marvell

D

5' 9"

170

05/08/1986

2/1

Poway, Calif.

Toronto FC (MLS)

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENDERS (5): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Ugo Ihemelu (Colorado Rapids), Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Brian Carroll (Columbus Crew), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Jack Jewsbury (Kansas City Wizards), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), John Thorrington (Chicago Fire)
FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)
 

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