The Seattle Sounders will play the San Jose Earthquakes, Sacramento Republic or Phoenix Rising in the U.S. Open Cup’s Round of 32. The draw to determine their opponent will take place at 9 AM Pacific on Thursday and will be aired live on Twitter and YouTube.
The Sounders were one of eight MLS teams to enter the Open Cup directly into the Round of 32 thanks to their finish in the 2021 MLS regular season. None of those eight teams could be placed in the same mostly regionalized groups.
Of those eight groups, four have two lower-division teams and four have three MLS teams. A randomized draw was used to determine which group those teams would be placed where a “logical” placement conflicted.
The Sounders will enter the 2022 tournament riding a three-game losing streak in the Open Cup that dates back to a loss to the Earthquakes in the 2017 Round of 16. The Sounders lost to Sacramento in the Round of 32 in 2018 and to the Timbers in the Round of 32 in 2019. The Open Cup was not held the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The last time the Sounders lost three straight Open Cup games was from 2003-06 when they were a USL team. They are tied for the most Open Cup titles during the MLS era (4) and are one shy of the all-time record (5), but have not advanced beyond the Round of 16 since Brian Schmetzer took over as head coach.