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Ship’s Log, May 24: Take the Open Cup energy with you

The kids are alright.

Last Updated
4 min read
Mike Fiechtner / Sounders FC Communications

Flipping awesome.

When Kalan Kossa-Rienzi flew through the air with the obvious winner it was glorious. This youngster did everything a team can ask for – learn a new position, playing in an unconventional fashion, driving forward constantly providing downhill energy.

That’s exactly what the Sounders needed to beat Phoenix. It’s also what they need to win regular season games.

Heck, it’s how Alex Roldan won himself a spot back on the roster after being cut. It’s the energy that earned Paul Rothrock his MLS deal after being the energizer in the Open Cup in 2023. Georgi Minoungou has it, too.

The “serious” lineup of mostly veterans that was bounced by San Jose in 2022 lacked that energy

The lineups of regular season play in 2024 lack that energy. We’ve seen glimpses of it from Obed Vargas, Pedro de la Vega and at times Josh Atencio. It’s no surprise that those are three of the youngest players getting regular minutes with the first team.

Whether due to age or mentality, the Seattle Sounders play a cautious game. The coaching staff insists this isn’t by direction. After this many matches the cause doesn’t matter – that they play risk-free and uninspiring is a disappointing fact.

Maybe, the knowledge that Kalani, Georgi, Paul, Reed, Cody, Andrew and more are breathing life into Defiance and Open Cup soccer can force a shift of behavior from the elder statesman.

Losing energetically would be a significant transition from what's been happening.

Yes, Schmetzer has talked about wanting to get all 3 DPs and his significant TAM players on the field at the same time. It should even happen against St. Louis.

They need to be more than on the field. They should absorb the energy of the youthful talents keeping Seattle’s trophy hopes alive. Playing at City can be tough. At times they’re quite good. They are second in shots taken and fourth best in shots allowed against.

St. Louis also isn’t very good, or young (by choice they don’t play the younger talent you’re familiar with), or effective. The two teams are tied for points in their last six games.

A road win shouldn't be seen as impossible.

And if you can’t flip, at least give us a few somersaults after playing downhill with a couple of goals.

– Dave Clark

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Catching up on Sounder at Heart

Here's what you need to know about the teams you love as we head into the weekend.


Next match: Saturday at St. Louis on MLS Season Pass at 5:30 pm PDT. City is currently 9th only two points ahead of Seattle in 10th.


Next match: Friday night at Washington Spirt on KONG and NWSL+ at 4:30 pm PDT. Spirit are in 3rd with 21 points. Seattle are in 13th with 7 points.


Next match: Sunday at Houston Dynamo 2 on MLS Season Pass (paid) at 4 pm PDT. Dynamo2 are 12th with 9 points. Defiance are 7th with 14 points.


Next match: Saturday at ONE Spokane Stadium they host Greenville Triumph at 6 pm PDT. This is part of the USL Jägermeister Cup and is on KSKN 22 and ESPN+.

They also signed former Defiance star Azriel Gonzalez on his birthday (today).

Ballard, West Seattle Junction, Tacoma Stars are all home tonight. FC Olympia is home Sunday.

Looking back at the news

Everything else you need to know

The Sports Business Executive of the Year is NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman, who may get it back-to-back if the league continues its rise. She's the first woman to win the award.

Messi isn't travelling with Inter Messi to BC Place this weekend. Vancouver Whitecaps are giving every attendee 50% off food and beverage in an attempt to satisfy the people who were merely coming to watch an opposing player.

DaBella is suing the Portland Timbers over the sponsorship termination after their CEO was accused of sexual harassment.

Women in Brazil are hoping that hosting the Women's World Cup in 2027 will help grow the game.

A Chinese financial firm failed to pay its bulls so now Inter Milan are owned by an American investment firm. There's no word if free biscuits will lead to Inter's downfall.

Reign fans just saw Barbra Banda, so they shouldn't be surprised that she's number one in the NWSL MVP power rankings.

Lauren Holiday helped her local communities so much that the NWSL is naming their public service award after her.

No league is immune from gambling's interference, not even the EPL.

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