The Sounders will make a push for their fourth consecutive U.S. Open Cup championship on the road versus Sporting KC at LiveStrong Sporting Park Stadium on Wednesday, August 8th.
Tuesday, the Sounders put away Chivas USA rather easily 4-1 while Sporting KC toppled the Philly Union 2-0 in a struggle scoring late and chipping in an empty netter later on.
The streak started in 2009 when the Sounders won their first Open Cup as the visiting team against DC United. At home in 2010, they beat the Columbus Crew and then last year in 2011 at home again, they beat the Chicago Fire.
It is Sporting KC’s first trip to the US Open Cup Final with its newest name. They won the title in 2004 as the Kansas City Wizards in its only other trip to the Final. They are taking things very seriously as shown in how much emotion they showed after they scored their goals and after the game was over.
This was the US Open Cup Final showdown waiting to happen all tournament long.
The Final should be close until the end. It should be a battle of wills. Seattle is playing for their annual entrance to Champions League and pride. They don’t want to be knocked off their perch.
Sporting KC is playing with arguably the best team chemistry of any MLS team this season. This could be the first championship of a double championship year. They will be one of the favorites to win MLS Cup 2012, too.
A huge coup if it can get accomplished would be winning both championships, something done before by the LA Galaxy in 2005, the Fire in 1998, and DC United in 1996.
Sporting KC is in a position few other teams have been in, but first they must see their first championship through to a finish on August 8th versus three-time reigning champs, Seattle.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com