For anyone who lived through it, the 2014 Seattle Sounders season was absolutely magical. No, it didn’t end the way any of us wanted — and certainly not as well as 2016 or 2019 — but it was almost inarguably the best ride we’ve ever been on when considering how long it lasted.
Without a doubt, one of the highlights of that season was the 2014 U.S. Open Cup final. It was the fifth time in six years that the Sounders had advanced to the final, and there were several memorable games leading up to it. After easily dispatching amateur side PSA Elite in the Round of 32, the Sounders outlasted the San Jose Earthquakes in a penalty shootout that featured Marcus Hahnemann shotgunning a beer with fans to celebrate in the Round of 16. The next round saw the Sounders beat the Portland Timbers 3-1 in extra time. The semifinals featured a 6-0 destruction of the Chicago Fire, which set the stage for the final.
For the third time, the Sounders were forced to play the final on the road, this time against the Philadelphia Union.
Jim Curtin had taken over for John Hackworth a few months earlier and had helped turn around a foundering season. Heading into the final, the Union had gone 9-2-4 in all competitions under Curtin.
Still, Seattle was the prohibitive favorites. The Sounders were absolutely stacked with talent — led by vintage Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins — and were leading the Supporters’ Shield race, while also having a rather significant big-game experience advantage.
Despite that advantage, the Union took the early lead on a goal by Maurice Edu and were probably the better team throughout the first half. But then Chad Barrett equalized near the start of the second half and the Sounders eventually won it in extra time on goals from Dempsey and Martins.
U.S. Soccer is replaying the game tonight on their YouTube channel as part of their Open Cup Classics series. Brad Evans and Edu will be doing a pregame show starting at 4:30 PM PT.
We’d love it if you hung out with us to watch.