clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sounders vs. San Diego Loyal, recap: the mad sh*t of the Cup

The Sounders outlasted San Diego to win a wild Open Cup match, 5-4.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

The Seattle Sounders faced off against San Diego Loyal SC in a competitive match for the first time in the USL Championship side’s brief history when they hosted the California club at Starfire on Wednesday in the third round of the US Open Cup. It took a full two hours and plenty of stoppage time, but Seattle ultimately came out on top, winning 5-4.

The opening minutes of the first half seemed to spell a long evening for the Sounders as San Diego had the first real look at goal following a bad pass from Xavier Arreaga directly to the feet of Charlie Adams near the top of the box in the 2nd minute. Adams dribbled at goal and took a shot 1 v 1 with Stefan Cleveland, but Cleveland stopped the shot without too much trouble. San Diego continued to look much more cohesive against a heavily rotated Seattle side early in the game, then in the 15th minute the Sounders found a breakthrough. Ethan Dobbelaere was taken down in the San Diego penalty area, causing some chaos, but the referee never blew the whistle. After the ball bounced around a bit, Dobbelaere centered the ball from the ground and Fredy Montero pounced on the opportunity to take the lead.

Eleven minutes later it was Dobbelaere putting the ball in the back of the net. Montero played a ball for Léo Chú to run onto in behind the defense, and Chú hit a looping cross for Dobbelaere at the back post that the goalkeeper got his hands to but couldn’t grab a hold of. With time and space, and plenty of the goal to aim at, Dobbelaere picked his shot and put Seattle up 2-0. The Sounders created plenty of other chances, but that was the lead they took into halftime.

After halftime, things got weird. Xavier Arreaga was called for an inexplicable handball and shown a yellow for his trouble in the 52nd minute. Joe Corona slotted home the resulting penalty, and minutes later Paul Rothrock — who subbed on for Léo Chú to start the half — put Seattle two goals in front again in the 55th minute to make it 3-1. Joe Corona added another goal in the 73rd with an outstanding free kick, and in the final moments of stoppage time San Diego defender Kyle Adams leveled the game with a rocket from outside the area.

Reed Baker-Whiting stepped up to the challenge with the game in the balance. In the 101st minute, Baker-Whiting received the ball on the touchline and started working his way inside and toward the towards goal. From the top of the box he unleashed a blast into the near top corner to put Seattle back in front. Unfortunately 15 minutes later San Diego substitute Jackson Simba scored with a header on a free kick seconds after entering the game to level the score.

The game seemed destined for penalties, but in the second minute of stoppage time in the second period of extra time, Travian Sousa was brought down in the San Diego penalty area. Simba, the player who had tied the game minutes earlier, pulled Sousa down to give the Sounders a penalty kick and a chance to win the game once and for all. Montero stepped up to the spot and did what he does: put the penalty away. There were still a few minutes of stoppage time to be played, but that goal proved to be the last meaningful bit of action and Seattle move on to the next round of the Open Cup.

Key moments

2’ — Xavier Arreaga gifts the ball to San Diego’s Charlie Adams, but Stefan Cleveland makes a big save early on to deny the chance.

15’ — Fredy Montero opens up the scoring! Montero capitalizes on some chaos in the San Diego 18-yard box after Ethan Dobbelaere is taken down, smashing the ball home. 1-0

26’ — DOBBELAERE! Fredy Montero sends Léo Chú through and he plays a cross that the ‘keeper can’t stop. The ball falls to Ethan Dobbelaere to finish without much trouble. 2-0

33’ — San Diego are called for a handball in a dangerous spot, giving Seattle a free kick from about 20 yards out. Montero lines up the shot, but his effort is wide.

35’ — Reed Baker-Whiting takes a look from range and doesn’t miss by much, but his shot was deflected for a corner.

52’ — Xavier Arreaga is wrongly called for a handball inside the penalty area, and San Diego have a penalty. Joe Corona steps up and just beats Stefan Cleveland. 2-1

55’ — Paul Rothrock has a great chance blocked, but almost immediately he’s back in a dangerous spot and beats the ‘keeper with a hard shot to the near post. 3-1 Sounders!

65’ — Joe Corona plays a dangerous ball into the area, and with Cleveland coming out to try to deal with it Arreaga swings his leg up to slice the ball out for a corner.

73’ — On a free kick given up by Fredy Montero, Joe Corona bangs his shot from 26 yards out into the top corner to close the gap. 3-2

87’ — San Diego get another dangerous look, as a ball is played from the right side of Seattle’s penalty area to a runner at the back post, but the header just misses wide.

90’ +3 — Defender Kyle Adams hits a rocket from deep to level the game after an apparent foul is waved off by the referee. 3-3

101’ — The Sounders get their own golazo to retake the lead! Reed Baker-Whiting drives inside from the touch line, looking off runners to take a rip into the top corner! 4-3

116’ — On a free kick awarded near the end line, Jackson Simba - a player who subbed on for San Diego seconds earlier - rises up unmarked to head the game level. 4-4

120’ +2 — Travian Sousa is brought down in the box by Simba, earning Seattle an extra time stoppage time penalty. Fredy Montero puts the PK away with the final kick. 5-4 Sounders

Quick thoughts

Exploring the depth: Brian Schmetzer picked a starting lineup that featured two players who started in the win over Minnesota United on Saturday. The rest of the XI included three players making their first starts of the season with the First Team, two of whom were making their first-ever starts with the Sounders in a competitive match. It wasn’t always pretty, but the young group was more than up to the task. Dobbelaere had a goal and an assist, his first of either for the Sounders. Cody Baker put in a performance at left back that could be a serious step toward an MLS contract. Rothrock subbed on at halftime and scored Seattle’s third goal, and generally looked like one of the most dangerous players at Starfire in the second half.

The magic of the Open Cup: There’s a conversation about the “magic of the cup” that seemingly surrounds every open tournament like the Open Cup. I assume that the “magic” is in the ability for the unexpected to happen. You’ve got “cupsets,” players who rise out of nowhere to play the games of their lives — just generally the sense that anything is possible in a single-elimination cup game. I’m pretty sure that the real magic is in the unrivaled ability of competitions like the Open Cup to cause stress and heartburn. This game was no different. Still, it all feels worth it when you get to see your team lift a trophy at the end.

I love goooooooooals: Some people may put on airs and pretend to be truly sophisticated connoisseurs of football who love nothing more than a cagey 0-0 full of tactical nuance and brilliant defensive play. Even those people, though, are really in it for the same reason the rest of us are: to see some goddamn goals. In that sense, this game was a treasure trove. There were golazos of the free kick and frozen rope variety from outside the box — for added delight a couple of those even came from defenders. There was an outstanding header that clanged off the crossbar. There were a couple of penalties of varying quality. We even got some goofball goals with the absolute chaos that created the opener and Paul Rothrock scoring at the near post by shooting off of the ‘keeper. Any time you tune into a game and you see nine goals, you got your money’s worth.

Did you see that?!?

Reed Baker-Whiting was done playing around.

One stat to tell the tale

8 — 8 Sounders Academy alums stepped on the field for Seattle against San Diego.


Man of the match

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Fredy Montero
    (487 votes)
  • 18%
    Ethan Dobbelaere
    (145 votes)
  • 1%
    Abdoulaye Cissoko
    (15 votes)
  • 17%
    Reed Baker-Whiting
    (138 votes)
785 votes total Vote Now

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Sounder At Heart Weekly Roundup newsletter!

A twice weekly roundup of Seattle Sounders and OL Reign news from Sounder at Heart