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Ship’s Log, May 7: Let’s win trophies again

Wednesday night's Open Cup match is the chance to create legends again.

Last Updated
4 min read
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Losing? Not cool. Draws, infrequently cool. Trophies are cool, without a doubt. Sharing trophies with your friends, your teammates, your Sounders – it is an absolute thrill.

Maybe it’s a good thing that Seattle Sounders start a U.S. Open Cup run midweek.

1- This will forbid them from having to overthink everything. They’re going to be tired and overworked, with only instinct and squad rotation able to help them during a May that will feature eight matches in two competitions if they beat Louisville City.

2- This is a hard reset on the frustrating season. Past years of poor Open Cup performance don’t matter. The past two plus months of the regular season don’t matter. Wednesday’s kickoff and the subsequent rounds of the Open Cup are all that matter in the Open Cup.

It’s been a long time — 10 years — since we’ve had Open Cup glory.

But it’s a glory we’ve had and right now, we need.

Lou City is tough. They are absolutely dominant at home (22 goals for, 5 against in five played), decent on the road, and feature a former Defiance player who is rising in the USL ranks as the next great youth player. Ray Serrano will be back in town to show the Tukwila crowd what a featured left wing with strong dribbling skills and a penchant for scoring can do – probably with some underlapping and central wingering too. His squad has trophies, but not this one. Back in 2018 they beat two MLS sides in a solid Open Cup run.

They have to be seen as a road bump.

Seattle needs a trophy in a bad way. This is the third longest stretch without a trophy in the club’s MLS history (734 days). The second longest (906 days from MLS Cup 2019 to CCL 2022) was interrupted by two trips to finals. The longest (1,065) was also interrupted by a trip to the final.

This is the Seattle Sounders. They don’t have a Hallway of Playoff Appearances – it’s a Hall of Champions.

Banners don’t go up for finals appearances or winning a conference. The rafters at Lumen are for the big silverware – USL titles, Open Cups, a Shield, two MLS Cups, a CCL.

It’s not good enough to appear in the Open Cup like only eight MLS teams are. It’s not good enough to be two-and-done or worse like the Sounders have been since 2016.

There’s room in the rafters for another Cup. There’s space in the Hall for another plaque. The trophy case can get bigger and it’s hard to think about this team that’s struggled so much in 2024 to do that in the MLS regular season, against Liga MX sides in Leagues Cup or in the playoffs.

The route to Open Cup glory can’t include another MLS side until the quarterfinals. A decent chance they don’t then either.

How does one win the Open Cup? On the backs of stars like Le Toux, Montero and Jaqua, off of deep bench players like King, Forrest and Fucito. The Open Cup, even more than the regular season tests the depth of a squad.

Without the youth and deep bench that stretch of four Open Cups in five years never happens. The failures to advance recently lie at the feet of stars like Dempsey and Rodriguez, at the shoes of the youth who had the opportunity but didn't take the shot.

Wednesday night is an opportunity for a new Seattle Sounders Open Cup legend to be written alongside Zombie Jaqua, Zombie Fucito, Ozzie’s dribbling icer, the embarrassments of DC and Philly.

– Dave Clark

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Catching up on Sounder at Heart

Midweek play is coming for Sounders and Reign. Here's how the weekend went.


Next match: Wednesday May 8 Seattle hosts Louisville City in the US Open Cup at Starfire Stadium (7:30 pm PDT /,,

Reviewing the 0-0 draw with LA Galaxy



Next match: Wednesday May 8 Seattle hosts KC Current in NWSL play at Lumen Field (7 pm PDT / KONG, NWSL+)

Reviewing the 2-1 win over San Diego Wave


Defiance play Friday May 10 at Timbers2 at 7:30 pm PDT on MLS Season Pass.

Velocity host Union Omaha Saturday May 11 in the USL Jägermeister Cup at ONE Spokane Stadium (6 pm PDT / KREM, ESPN+)

Looking back at the news

Everything else you need to know

LouCity’s Ray Serrano and the Open Cup road home. Serrano's brother wanted this match. He got it.

Carlyle breaks down its Seattle Reign investment and why teams are turning to private equity. The still not-yet-official ownership change is getting coverage in business circles.

Olive & York with the Wahl family brought back their jersey celebrating Grant Wahl as part of the push for what may be his final book release.

Missed the weekend's NWSL action? Our own Susie Rantz recaps the action for the AP.

The next wave of USWNT talent is scattered around the NWSL, foreign leagues and college.

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