The Seattle Sounders are coming a huge win against the Philadelphia Union in the final of the 2014 U.S. Open Cup. It was Seattle’s fourth time winning the trophy, which ties the record for most times winning it, but this was arguably the most satisfying. On the road. Coming back from being down 1-0. Surviving regulation time. Scoring two goals in extra time. Truly spectacular. Never had this team faced that much adversity in an Open Cup final, so seeing the squad come out on top Tuesday night was extremely satisfying for the players, the coaches, and the fans.
Chad Barrett‘s header was Seattle’s only regulation goal. The defense had to hold off some late pushes from the Union towards the end of the match. Once extra time began it was all Sounders FC, as Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins were each able to net goals.
Now Seattle sets its sights on the team’s next goal: winning the Supporters’ Shield. Awarded to the top team at the end of the MLS season, the Sounders have never won the honor – they were runners-up in 2011. At 54 points, the Rave Green are currently at the top of the standings by three points with a game in hand and seven matches left. Last year, Seattle had lead in the race for the Supporters’ Shield with seven games left only to see it crumble away as they failed to win another game.
The team does not want that to happen again. Not this year. You can bet this team is motivated to play extremely well over the final stretch. And that final stretch begins tomorrow in a road match against the New York Red Bulls. No doubt this will prove to be a huge test for the Sounders, as New York is riding a four-match winning streak and hasn’t lost at home since May. Not to mention they have two of the more prolific front lines in MLS in Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips, who leads the league in goals with 21.
It’s the first game of the final stretch for Seattle and they need to get off to a good start. The team cannot afford a late-season collapse like last year, and I doubt the players will let that happens.
In case you missed the game, here are the highlights of the U.S. Open Cup Final (no audio):
You can watch tomorrow’s match at 4:30 PT on NBC or listen on 97.3 FM. GO SOUNDERS!