When the story of the Seattle Sounders' amazing run at Starfire is eventually told, this game will surely play a starring role. Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal had a little bit of everything.
There was, of course, the setting. The Portland Timbers were in town, with the winner getting the right to host the Chicago Fire in the Open Cup semifinals on Aug. 13.
But what made it an instant classic was the actual game. Tight play, hard tackling, some great goalkeeping, an amazing goal and all that was before Darlington Nagbe's last-second equalizer which forced overtime. There was a bit of everything in the final 30 minutes from red cards, to diving saves and finally a pair of Sounders goals that ensured this game will be remembered fondly by the Seattle faithful.
Most importantly, the win puts the Sounders in their seventh Open Cup semifinals in the past eight years. Just think about that for a second. As impressive as their three straight Open Cup titles and four straight appearances in the final were, in some ways this is even more impressive as it had to be done with effectively three entirely different teams.
Now, let's get the MLS season back on track.
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (Lamar Neagle) 69'
POR - Darlington Nagbe 90+3'
SEA - Kenny Cooper (Gonzalo Pineda) 110'
SEA - Marco Pappa 115'
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; DeAndre Yedlin (Micheal Azira 90), Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Jalil Anibaba; Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Lamar Neagle; Chad Barrett (Marco Pappa 64), Cam Weaver (Kenny Cooper 79).
Substitutes Not Used: Josh Ford, Tristan Bowen, Aaron Kovar, Sean Okoli.
TOTAL SHOTS: 22 (Neagle 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Pappa 3); FOULS: 14 (Marshall, Neagle 3); OFFSIDE: 3 (Weaver 2); CORNER KICKS: 8 (Pineda 7); SAVES: 8 (Frei 8).
Portland Timbers - Donovan Ricketts; Michael Harrington, Rauwshan McKenzie, Danny O'Rourke, Jorge Villafana (Steve Zakuani 77); Jack Jewsbury (Will Johnson 81), Diego Chara, Diego Valeri, Rodney Wallace (Darlington Nagbe 60); Fanendo Adi, Gaston Fernandez.
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, Taylor Peay, Michael Nanchoff, Kalif Alhassan.
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Fernandez 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Fernandez 6); FOULS: 17 (Adi 6); OFFSIDE: 2 (Wallace, Zakuani 1); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Valeri 6); SAVES: 6 (Ricketss 6).
POR - Gaston Fernandez (caution) 16'
SEA - Zach Scott (caution) 23'
SEA - Gonzalo Pineda (caution) 67'
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 94'
POR - Diego Chara (ejection) 99'
Referee: Chris Penso
Referee's Assistants: Paul Scott, Chris Strickland
4th Official: Allen Chapman
Time of Game: 2:33
Weather: Sunny and 77 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial
Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach
(On giving up the late goal...) "Obviously it is disappointing, we could have won it in regulation. You have to work extra, but I told the guys, 'So we got to do it the hard way, we will do it the hard way.' That's just the way it turned out tonight. We were happy. We've played Portland three times in the Open Cup since I've been here, and this is the first time we've played them at home. I know Caleb [Porter] feels the coin toss is in our favor, but every other time we've played Portland we've played down there, so it's nice to have that happen. Having our crowd behind us and being able to come back [to Seattle] was a great thing."
(On DeAndre Yedlin starting...) "He said he felt fine. He's still 21 one years old and we felt he is a guy who could play tonight and turnaround and play Sunday. He had cramps a little a bit, that's why we took him out-to be careful and make sure there's no injury."
(On Yedlin's performance...) "I thought he played well. I thought he was very sharp, especially in the first half. He made some good runs forward. It's a difficult feel to get forward as an outside back, but I thought he did some really good things."
(On Cam Weaver starting.) "This field suits Weaver. We know some balls would be in the air and we need him to battle. The thing with Cam is he's a warrior. When you put him on the field you know he is going to give you everything he has for as long as he is out there. Unfortunately he didn't have a goal, but he was right around there a couple of times."
(On handling Diego Chara's red card...) "I didn't think we handled it really well right after the red card. Prior to the second overtime we talked about making sure we stepped up to people, keep people in the back, and not get beat off the dribble. I think that's what happened to us, even in the goal they got late, we were beat off the dribble. I said, 'Hold the ball and not to swing it in too early, opportunities will come."
(On the status of Obafemi Martins...) "He trained today, did much more today. We will see how he feels tomorrow and Friday. Hopefully things will look good for Sunday."
(On the status of Clint Dempsey...) "Dempsey will be back. My situation with Dempsey was that everyone is different. His family was already on the East Coast, he was in the East Coast, he has a home in the East Coast, and said, 'Coach if I could get a week off now rather than later' and I said, 'Fine.' We agreed to that. He's been on the East Coast the whole time. He'll come back tomorrow and be with us from then on."
Sounders FC Forward- Kenny Cooper
(Thoughts on goal scored...) "Great ball by Pineda it hit me right on the head, he got so much quality on the ball and that's what he's capable of doing."
(On having to play extra time...) "The attitude and response by our team, I never saw any heads put down. When we got together Sigi instilled a lot of confidence in us I think and no one ever put their head down, we kept battling and came away with the win."
(On having scored 4 career goals at Starfire...) "I love it, we all do, great atmosphere. Obviously this rivalry is important to both sets of fans and you can see the support they bring down as well, but our fans are just incredible and it's great to hear them the whole game."
(On scoring a goal against former club...) "All goals are just as exciting. I had a great time in Portland, they treated me really well, but that's in the past. I love being here and on this side of the rivalry."
(On the importance of the victory...) "Hopefully it gives us momentum going into the weekend. They obviously have a lot of quality and you have to give them credit for fighting back the way that they did but hopefully we carry some confidence and momentum going into the weekend."
Sounders FC Midfielder- Marco Pappa
(On having to play extra time...) "It was a difficult match because we had to play an extra 30 minutes and you could see that some of the guys were tired, but at the end of the day we know we can come back. We scored the goal we need tonight more importantly we got the result and now in the semifinal of the Open Cup."
(On the importance of the victory...) "Portland is a big rival of the Sounders, so you have to do whatever it takes, and I know that we're happy with the result tonight and I know it going to give us confidence for the next game. For sure we are looking forward to the rest of the season but we have to take it game by game, so we are happy with the result tonight."
Sounders FC Midfielder- Osvaldo Alonso
(On the passion and intensity while playing Portland...) "Yeah, it's the quarterfinal versus Portland. You always have to have that mentality, when you're playing versus Portland you have to give everything you have, you have to play with your heart. We did it today and I'm very proud of my teammates and I look forward to the next game."