While the first half at times seemed like a passing clinic by the Seattle Sounders they only managed a single goal. That one Fredy Montero shot won the US Open Cup Semifinal match over FC Dallas, but it certainly will not be what people will remember from the match. Unfortunately the second half of chipping, sometimes violent, play by both teams will over shadow what was a truly amazing goal sequence. At first he attempted to put away an amazing bicycle kick from within a crowd. A few moments later he faked right, shimmied left and stabbed the ball in with his left foot. When asked about that series of events he was quite humble.
"I keep working. Luckily the second one from the distant position got in and gave us a spot in the final."
But the second half saw Dallas dominate the action a bit as they shifted their formation. One of the changes took Brek Shea away from his kryptonite named Zach Scott. Another was to put Marvin Chavez into a forward role where he managed to be much more creative and took advantage of his speed against Scott wide.
But as the second half went on it went from physical to violent. There may have only been three Cautions during play in the second 45, but it was chippy. Calls were missed. Leo Gonzalez was lucky to not get a second Yellow. Mauro Rosales was getting run over, tackles come in from behind and an attempt by Mike Fucito to kill time deep in the corner somehow wound up as a turnover as he lay bleeding on the pitch after being physically thrown to the turf.
Throughout the violence being laid upon Seattle's speed players their defensive line was struggling. Kasey Keller brought up that they made some fundamental errors and the result was a little fortunate.
It's more than that, it's not just our defense letting down. We let them come at us. We let them. We didn't step up and put pressure on them when we should have. We relaxed and we dropped back into flat positions and we just didn't compete how we could have. And it's a shame because we had played so well for about 70 minutes and then the last 20 minutes we just stopped playing. We had some interesting calls, but in the end the result is what's important. Maybe a year and a half ago, maybe two years ago, we might have let this game slip. But right now we're in good form, we're getting those breaks when we need them - they crushed one off the post -- and you need that to get into the finals. We had that going for us today.
Seattle did just manage to get the result. And because of that result CenturyLink Field will host another US Open Cup Final. This one promises to be historic as either the Seattle Sounders will win their third straight or the Chicago Fire will earn their fifth. It doesn't have to be pretty to make a Cup Final. But to win one you have to make it that far.