CHICAGO (Aug. 13, 2014) – Andy Rose and Kenny Cooper each tallied two goals and Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC soundly defeated the Chicago Fire 6-0 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash., in ussoccer.com’s “Game of the Round” semifinal of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Cooper is the leading goal scorer in this year’s U.S. Open Cup with six tallies.
With the win, Seattle faces the Philadelphia Union in the U.S. Open Cup Final at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The match will be broadcast live on GolTV.
Philadelphia is making its first appearance in a U.S. Open Cup Final after defeating FC Dallas 4-3 in a penalty kick shootout on Tuesday. Seattle is in search of its fourth crown, heading to its fifth U.S. Open Cup Final. Sounders FC won the event in three consecutive years (2009-11) and were runners-up in 2012.
Ticket information for the U.S. Open Cup Final will be announced at a later date.
During Wednesday’s semifinal, Seattle wasted little time attaining the lead on its home turf as Cooper crossed the ball in from the right side past Fire defender Lovel Palmer and found Chad Barrett at close range in the box. The former Fire forward fired top-shelf past goalkeeper Sean Johnson to gain the 1-0 advantage in the sixth minute.
Despite the early deficit, the Fire kept the Seattle defense busy, forcing Stefan Frei into a couple of set piece saves in the opening 30 minutes.
But the Sounders also continued to create chances on its offensive end, and Rose pushed the lead to 2-0 in the 33rd minute off of a Marco Pappa corner kick from the left side. With space to leap for the header, Rose drove the ball down into the turf and inside the right post past Johnson for a 2-0 cushion.
The second half started slowly for both sides in the opening 10 minutes, but the Sounders eventually found some holes in the Chicago defense. Rose put the match out of reach in the 58th minute, this time with a header on the left side of the box off of a Pappa cross from the right to take a 3-0 lead.
Seattle poured it on down the stretch. Second-half sub Obafemi Martins was set up by Cooper with a goal in the 79th minute. Cooper scored both of his goals in the 82nd and 84th minutes, respectively.
Chicago, a four-time winner and two-time runner-up, missed out on the opportunity to advance to a seventh Open Cup Final. The Fire were without 2013 MLS MVP Mike Magee, who served a one-game suspension after receiving a red card during Chicago’s 3-1 quarterfinal win against the North American Soccer League’s Atlanta Silverbacks.
The Philadelphia Union earned the right to host the championship match of the 101st edition of the tournament following a coin flip conducted by U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati that took place during the Men In Blazers program at MLS All-Star Week.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Club 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 100 consecutive years dating back to 1914. This year’s winner will earn $250,000, a berth in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions’ League and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will take home $60,000. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.