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Quick Review: Sounders advance to US Open Cup Final after Beating Chivas USA 3-1

The Rave Green of Seattle couldn't have played this match any better. There was great ball movement on both wings, but the exceptional skills of Steve Zakuani really proved the difference. His ball work on the left was instrumental in creating goals. Each of the first two of the match were due to Zakuani's superb play.

Nate Jaqua scored the first and third goal of the match. The third was off of a Roger Levesque feed.

Fredy Montero was so lazy that he scored while laying down today. He laid himself out to reach the Zakuani pass and slotted it past Zach Thornton.

One of the surprises this evening was in the first half when Justin Braun had two opportunities to go one-on-one with Keller and on both occasions instead passed the ball. He just didn't have the scoring mentality this evening. The other, and even more pleasant surprise, was that Taylor Graham and Tyrone Marshall both looked very solid in defense. They were ball winners in the air, at their feet and even laying themselves on the ground on occasion.

In all this was one of the more complete games the Sounders have played. They did it with a mostly best XI against a mostly best XI for Chivas USA.

The victory advances Seattle to the US Open Cup Final for a second year in a row, after four straight appearances in the semi-final.

Much praise must also be said to the Chivas USA supporters who rode 18 hours in a van for a US Open Cup semi-final on a weeknight. Their support was solid, and their camaraderie post-game was great.

Stats and quotes after the jump

Scoring Summary:         

SEA -- Nate Jaqua (Steve Zakuani) 10

SEA -- Fredy Montero (Steve Zakuani) 58

CHV -- Jesus Padilla (Justin Braun) 68

SEA -- Nate Jaqua (Roger Levesque) 92+

Chivas USA -- Zach Thornton, Michael Umana, Mariano Trujillo, Ante Jazic, Dario Delgado, Marcelo Saragosa (Jesus Padilla 54), Paulo Nagamura, Rodolfo Espinoza, Jonathan Bornstein (Michael Lahoud 46), Justin Braun, Giancarlo Maldonado (Sal Zizzo 63).

Substitutes Not Used: Carlos Borja, Yamith Cuesta, Ben Zemanski, Kevin Guppy.

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Jesus Padilla 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Jesus Padilla 2); FOULS: 13 (Paulo Nagamura 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (Justin Braun 2); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Rodolfo Espinoza 7); SAVES: 6 (Zach Thornton 6)

Seattle Sounders FC -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Tyrone Marshall, Taylor Graham, Leo Gonzalez, Alvaro Fernandez (Roger Levesque 83), Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis (Mike Seamon 66), Steve Zakuani (Jeff Parke 90), Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua.

Substitutes Not Used: David Estrada, Michael Fucito, Zach Scott, Terry Boss.

TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Steve Zakuani 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Steve Zakuani 3); FOULS: 9 (3 tied with 2); OFFSIDES: 1 (Fredy Montero 1); CORNER KICKS: 10 (Osvaldo Alonso 7); SAVES: 5 (Kasey Keller 5)

Misconduct Summary:

CHV -- Paulo Nagamura (caution; Reckless Tackle) 51

SEA -- Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Reckless Tackle) 79

Referee: Ricardo Salazar

Referee's Assistants: -Colin Arblaster; Mike Kampmeinert

4th Official: Josh Wilkens

Attendance: 4,547

Time of Game: 1:51

Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-67-degrees

All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial



Seattle Sounders FC vs. Chivas USA - Postgame Quotes


Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

(On the match . . .) "Obviously we weren't happy with the goal we gave up because we always try and be perfectionists and so forth. I thought our ball movement at times was good. [Steve] Zakuani was sharp today. He had the better of [Mariano] Trujillo on the outside. That was important for us. It's a field that lends itself to speed of play, getting faster and I think we took advantage of that."


(On Steve Zakuani . . .) "I think he got a lot of respect early on, once he took them early and set up that first goal. After that, I think [Mariano] Trujillo packed up and for sure in the second half they got people over there to double him. [Rodolfo] Espinoza came back a lot in the first half to help on him and in the second half they tried to double and triple him. If you can make magical moments like that or moments that impact games, that's what makes the difference in games."


(On playing for the U.S. Open Cup championship . . .) "It's sort of ironic that it's the team I'm coaching now against the team I used to coach and so obviously I know their whole coaching staff. I know a lot of their players there. So it's going to be emotional that way. But we are very happy that we are hosting the game. And we are very excited. We want to sellout Qwest and we want to be able to hoist a trophy in front of all those people."


(On Nate Jaqua . . .) "Well they all count whether they are six yards away or twenty-five yards away. He has made a couple of good runs. He made some good runs today. We talked about it before the game. I said, 'Hey, you're the leading scorer in the Open Cup. You want to stay there.' Obviously he tried to stay there, or is there with the two goals tonight. A lot of the work for his goals, great service by Roger [Levesque], great service by Steve [Zakauni]. We were unlucky a couple of times, Steve's header at the back post was one that we could have had as well. I am very happy for Nate and he got a couple of goals again today."


(On the quick turnaround . . .) "That's just the way it is for us right now. Again, like I said, we try not to dwell on it. We tried not to make a big thing of it but I think the most important thing is that it is what it is and you move forward and you tackle it and we make sure we get the right regeneration when we get in there to Boston tomorrow. Everybody takes care of their bodies and we get them to recover and we get them to play again."


(On reaching the Open Cup Final . . .) "I think it's tremendous. Obviously playing at Starfire is a unique situation because the fans are so close to the field and we pack the place. It just lends itself to a completely different atmosphere. I think every club wants to win trophies. To be able in our first two years of existence to be able to get to two finals in the Open Cup, to win the first win and now the possibility to win the second one becoming the first team to win two in a row since MLS has joined the Open Cup is obviously something we would like to do because it hasn't been done and it's something unique and special for us to achieve."


Steve Zakuani - Sounders FC Midfielder

(On the win . .  .) "I'm looking forward to the final at Qwest Field. [. . .] We went out there, got the early goal, got the second one, they came back but we managed to close it off. Now is a good time to win, keep our momentum going. I think it's like eight games against MLS teams unbeaten. We just got to keep going."


(On the physicality . . .) "People react like that, get frustrated and kick you. I've fought that for a long time, my whole career. It's something you get used to. It means I'm doing my job. If I get that every game I would be happy."


(On the first goal . . .) "Ozzie [Osvaldo Alonso] has got good understanding. He always looks for me. He found me and then I think I actually took a heavy touch and went wide. I managed to turn the defender and Nate [Jaqua] was in the right spot. I found him and he finished it off. It's just one of those that we probably do a lot on the training ground and it's good to see it come off in a game."


(On his move on the left flank . . .) "Ever since I was seven. It's just something you improvise on the field. I think my game is to try and be creative. Sometimes it doesn't work. When it works like tonight, then it looks good. So I'll take that."


(On Nate Jaqua . . .) "I said from the beginning, I enjoyed playing with Nate a lot last year. He is one of those guys who is always going to be in the box. I think you saw today he scored two goals by being in the box. I think that's five goals in the Open Cup. It's no surprise. It's good to see him come back."


(On the final being played at Qwest Field . . .) "I think playing the final at Qwest, I fully expect it to be a full house. It's going to be incredible. And of course, it's Sigi old team and that stuff is going to come back into it. For us, it's just one more game. We are unbeaten in Open Cup as an MLS team. So it's just something where to go back-to-back in your second year would be unheard of. We are really going to fight for it."


Nate Jaqua - Sounders FC Forward

(On the win . . .) "Great win for us tonight and the chance to play a Final at Qwest Field in front of our fans is an unbelievable opportunity. It was a great hard fought win by our guys and it was fun."


(On the first goal . . .) "The first goal was Zakuani's. He made a great run and he had one right before that and I tried to cut back and cut one back to me and he played it across. I was like alright I'll cut back in that way the next one, and he was able to find me, a great ball and a great run by him.


(On playing the entire game . . .) "I feel alright. A bit knocked up. I'm going to get in the cold tub. But I feel good. It's nice to be on the field, get the start and play the whole game.  Injury wise I'm good."


(On playing in a second Open Cup Final . . .) "It's great. It's even better. It's going to be unbelievable playing at Qwest, and a chance to hold up the trophy there. It's good."



Martin Vasquez - Chivas USA Head Coach

(On his impressions of the match...) "Disappointed because we really wanted to go to our first final. I thought we had a good start, but you can't give a player like Zakuani, you have to respect and not let him get behind you. Overall the effort was good. I was pleased with there response after the first goal. We talked at halftime, we still had 45 minutes, and we tried to chase the game for most of the match. Disappointed because we had a couple of chances were we could have done better and it would have been a different game."


(On the turning point in the match...) "In a game like today, a semifinal, knockout competition you need to take your chances. You have to give credit they have players that make a difference and they took their chances. Again, disappointed but the way our guys played, with urgency, hard work, effort, all that was their."


(On the belief they can still make the playoffs...) "Yes, that is the approach we have to take."


Jonathan Bornstein - Chivas USA Midfielder

(On his feelings towards the match...) "It is very disappointing; we had a very good opportunity in front off us to make our first U.S. Open Cup Final. Giving up three goals and losing the game is more disappointing than anything. Now we have to look forward to Saturday and another big game."


(On his view of the match...) "The first goal came off a counter attack on the left side. I gave a cross and it gets headed out where [Steve] Zakuani goes down the line. He was able to pass to Nate Jaqua, a pretty easy goal for him. I think it was hard fought from there on out. I was just coming out from halftime and I heard the second goal was very similar to the first. I thought our guys showed a lot of heart in the second half to get the goal and fight. In the end it wasn't there for us."


(On coming off the pitch at half...) "I just took a little bit of a knock; with a couple of games coming we thought it would be smart to get ready for Saturday. We didn't want to make it worse than it already was."


(On not getting a chance to win a U.S. Open Cup...) "Very disappointing, for me personally it was a big game. I was disappointed to come out at half and it is probably the last Open Cup I will play in at least a while."

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