Rowdies beat Sounders 1-nil advance to US Open Cup 4th Round

USA TODAY Sports

Seattle loses their first US Open Cup match since joining MLS, first in regulation since 2005.

On a bumpy pitch with high winds that hurt long balls and crosses Seattle would try many, and succeed at none. The Tampa Bay Rowdies played significantly better in the 75th minute when their attacking stars Luke Mullholland would get on the end of a fast interchange and shot on goal. Marcus Hahnemann would knock the ball aside, but not far enough Georgi Hristov would poke it into the net to put the NASL side up on Seattle Sounders FC.

Things would get worse for Seattle.

Ten minutes later the Sounders would get a quality shot on goal. Jordan Gafa would clear it off the line with his hands to save the goal. If you aren't familiar with the Rowdies you may be surprised that Gafa is not a keeper. He saw Red and the Sounders had a chance from the penalty spot. Recent sub (80th minute) Obafemi Martins would take charge of the ball and made it clear to his teammates that the chance was his.

Diego Restrepo guessed the right direction and saved the penalty. Seattle's best chance at the draw died on the line twice.

With added time the match lasted another ten minutes with the Sounders holding a man advantage but needing a goal in conditions that reduced the effectiveness of long balls. The formation shifted to a 3-4-3 and Seattle would press for a goal. None would come.

After four years of amazing runs in the US Open Cup Seattle finally fell flat. It was not the worst loss by an MLS side to a lower division, but is clearly disappointing for a team that took two DPs to a converted baseball stadium to try and win.

It was the worst of times.

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