It's a big week for the Seattle Sounders. We have our shot at one bringing back the US Open Cup trophy on Tuesday in front of the largest soccer crowd the tournament has ever seen. This isn't a fly-by-night operation dressing up a friendly to draw fans. It's a history soaked tournament that's been running continuously in the U.S. since 1914. The place is going to be rocking and you don't want to miss an opportunity to bring some hardware to city. Don't think you've waited to long to grab tickets. The team won't stop selling seats until the whole damn place is full. Sounders GM Andrian Hanauer expects a crowd of 35,000. Personally, I think he's low-balling it.
This weekend's league match-up was also a kind one for the Sounders. The team played an almost exclusively reserve team line-up to give the Sounders some rest before the big game on Tuesday. The New England Revolution dominated possession, creating some coat-biting tension, but in the end it didn't matter. The Sounders won 2-1 off of a brace by Fredy Montero. You can see match highlights and photos at the Sounders website.
Keller Not Staying for CCL: We've known all season that this is Kasey Keller's last season. However, due to his stellar form this year, many fans have nurtured the hope that he might stick around a bit longer. Keller flatly denied those hopes in recent comments. Perhaps a fitting tribute is immortalizing the keeper in corn. I'd prefer to help cheer him on to a third U.S. Open Cup this week. Of course, you'll need to get a ticket to see a U.S. soccer legend lift up a trophy in his last season (good God I'm a hopeless shill for the Sounders).
More from around the league after the jump:
Whitecaps Lose to Timbers: The Vancouver Whitecaps had an opportunity this weekend to put a little joy in the hearts of their fans. The Caps had a big party planning for the re-opening of BC Place and many were looking forward to securing a win against their biggest rival. Unfortunately, they came out flat and disorganized ultimately losing 1-0 to the Timbers. Also, in the same link, Don Garber indicates that league officials hope to create a schedule next year that highlights rivalry games and supports any move by team owners to increase seats allocated to traveling support above the current 500 limit.
Impact to Sign Rivas: The Montreal Impact have signed Nelson Rivas. As of this post it's not clear if he will be a designated player. The 28 year old defender has extensive experience with top clubs including Inter Milan. Still, there are plenty of warning flags with this signing. The defender has struggled with injuries which is never a good sign for a newly signed DP. Also, the track record on defenders as DPs is very small and not very promising (cough, cough, Rafael Marquez).
Fire Catching Fire: The Chicago Fire are um...well...catching fire in league play. The Fire have played eight matches since an embarrassing 4-2 loss to the Whitecaps. They have lost just once and claimed 17 points. In the process they've come from the bottom of the Eastern Conference to within striking distance of the playoffs. The Fire the Sounders will play on Tuesday is a much better team than the one they saw earlier in the year.
DC Playoff Hopes Hurt: D.C. United have managed a remarkable turn around this season under the leadership of new head coach Ben Olsen. Securing a spot in the playoffs looked like an achievable goal for the back and red. However, a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew place that goal in jeopardy and give some breathing room to their struggling rivals the New York Red Bulls. United will need to up their game considerable to get back into that last wildcard spot.