Real Salt Lake (MLS) 1, Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) 1 (1-4 PKs)
It ultimately took penalty kicks to separate two MLS Western Conference rivals, as Seattle Sounders FC advanced to the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals at the expense of Real Salt Lake thanks to the goalkeeping heroics of Tyler Miller on the first night of the 2016 tournament’s Round of 16. Despite a ceaseless bombardment, Seattle’s defense did not concede a goal from the run of play, surrendering only a Joao Plata penalty kick in the 43rd minute. Nelson Valdez then leveled matters for the Rave Green soon after the halftime break, and it was a scores stalemate the rest of the way to penalties thanks in larger part to both goalkeepers making a bushel of terrific saves at either end. The Sounder’s Miller was particularly excellent in goal down the stretch and into the penalty shootout where he gained a measure of revenge on Plata by denying the RSL man before also keeping out recently returned RSL captain Kyle Beckerman to set up Erik Friberg for the winning penalty as the Sounders converted all four of their spot kick opportunities. Seattle moves on to its 11th all-time Open Cup Quarterfinal in franchise history, hitting the road to face the winner between Portland Timbers and LA Galaxy on a date to be determined.
Real Salt Lake (MLS) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)
Time/Location: 8:00 p.m. MT; Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Seattle Sounders FC Best Finish: Champions (2009-2011, 2014)
Real Salt Lake Best Finish: Runners-up (2013)
Broadcast: U.S. Soccer YouTube
- Sounders FC arrived in the Round of 16 by defeating Kitsap Pumas 2-0. Cristian Roldan and Joevin Jones scored in the match on June 15.
- After going down 2-0 to the Wilmington Hammerheads, Joao Plata and Burrito Martinez tallied second half goals before RSL defeated the USL side 3-1 on penalty kicks to arrive in the Round of 16.
- This is the first meeting between the two MLS sides in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
- Seattle Sounders FC four championships are tied for the second most U.S. Open Cup titles with fellow MLS side Chicago Fire, Fall River Marksmen, New York Greek American and Philadelphia Ukrainians.
- Sounders FC assistant coach Ante Razov won the U.S. Open Cup three times as a member of the Chicago Fire in 1998, 2000 and 2003. Razov provided the assist on Hristo Stoitchkov’s game-winning goal in the 2000 Final win, a 2-1 victory against the Miami Fusion.
- Interestingly, RSL assistant Tyrone Marshall scored an own goal for the Fire in that 2000 Final, while Jeff Cassar was on the bench for Miami. RSL goalkeeping coach Daryl Shore also won the 2000, 2003 and 2006 Open Cup titles with the Fire, while assistant Ted Eck won the title with the Dallas Burn in 1997.
- The two sides have met once this season, a 2-1 RSL win on March 12 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Ozzie Alonso put Seattle ahead in the 28th minute before Sunday Stephen and Jamison Olave scored goals on both sides of halftime for the home side.
- The winner of this match will visit the winner of the Portland Timbers/LA Galaxy Round of 16 match in the Quarterfinals on July 19-20.