Here's my game story.
The Sounders started only four players who started Saturday at Colorado. And coach Sigi Schmid said he wouldn't have started that many except for a series of injuries that forced him to. (Good news: Freddie Ljungberg expected back Saturday; bad news: Taylor Graham on injured list with foot injury and out at least six weeks.)
However, even at that, Schmid said that moving into the main portion of the U.S. Open Cup was important to him.
"It matters," he said. "It's been a while since I've been able to be in the U.S. Open Cup because when I got to Columbus the team hadn't made the playoffs the year before, and we got knocked out in the play-in game, and we got knocked out in the play-in game in year two. And then last year we thought we were going to get in and we got knocked out in the second play-in game by Chicago on penalty kicks in the end of the game. So it was real frustrating, because I wanted to get back in the tournament. But for us, starting starters was really out of necessity."
Now he's back in ... although the Sounders won't return to Cup play until on or around June 30, with site and opponent yet to be determined. (elmocatt has more information in the comments section below... thanks EC.)
I thought the best player on the field today was Sanna Nyassi, who posed many threats speeding down the right side.
However, his prime contribution ended up being a long throw in that Roger Levesque sent on to Kevin Forrest, who scored the game's lone goal.
"To be honest, I didn't have that great of a game," Forrest said. "But you just go out, and Sigi always tells me it's just thinking, thinking ahead, thinking at a faster pace, and that's what I'm working on. It wasn't a great game, but you just keep going, keep improving, keep working. It's nice to contribute. That's the biggest thing for the team."
Here's Levesque's take on the throw-in that started it all:
"I think everyone on the field, including our entire team, was surprised that Senna had a long throw. I've never seen it in practice before, but he stepped up, chucked it in the box, and I was standing at the right place at the right time, just trying to get anything I could on it to direct it to the goal, Kevin Forrest came in, made a strong run right to the center of the goal and was in the right place at the right time and had a great finish on it. I don't think there was anything Preston could have done about it."
Here are the stats:
SEA -- Kevin Forrest (Roger Levesque, Sanna Nyassi) 61
Colorado Rapids -- Preston Burpo, Kosuke Kimura, Ty Harden, Rob Valentino, Michael Holody, Jacob Peterson, Mehdi Ballouchy (Nick LaBrocca 46), Terry Cooke, Ciaran O'Brien (Jordan Harvey 70), Ross Schunk (Scott Palguta 71), Gregory Richardson.
Substitutes Not Used: Colin Clark, Omar Cummings, Ivan Guerrero, Matt Pickens.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Terry Cooke 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (4 tied with 1); FOULS: 8 (Jordan Harvey 2, Gregory Richardson 2); OFFSIDES: 8 (Gregory Richardson 6); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Terry Cooke 4); SAVES: 4 (Preston Burpo 4)
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, Evan Brown, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl, Sanna Nyassi (Nate Jaqua 80), Stephen King, Nathan Sturgis, Kevin Forrest (James Riley 72), Roger Levesque, Sebastien Le Toux.
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Evans, Fredy Montero, Peter Vagenas, Steve Zakuani, Ben Dragavon.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Sanna Nyassi 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Stephen King 2, Sanna Nyassi 2); FOULS: 3 (3 tied with 1); OFFSIDES: 4 (Roger Levesque 3); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Sebastien Le Toux 5); SAVES: 4 (Kasey Keller 4)
Referee: Tony Russo
Referee's Assistants: -Mike Rottersman; Baboucarr Jallow
4th Official: Josh Wilkens
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-64-degrees
Final: The Sounders advance to the round of 16, with a 1-0 win on a Kevin Forrest header. This next U.S. Open Cup game will be played in late June against an opponent to be determined at a site to be determined.
I'm headed down to the locker room, but will be back with notes and quotes.
62nd minute: A Kevin Forrest header off of a flick from Roger Levesque just moved the Sounders ahead, 1-0.
Halftime: 0-0 When I was playing on my final over-40 beer league team, we knew we weren't likely to string enough passes together to work the ball down the field. So we just wacked it, hoped a forward might catch up with it and something good might happen. That's pretty much how this first half has been. Lots of long passes. Lots of hope. No goals.
The Sounders have had the better going of it, with very good chances in the 13th and 27th minutes. But we're scoreless halfway through.
Kickoff: The game has begun. I'll click in with scores and highlights as they happen. Meanwhile, you can listen in at SoundersFC.com.
Ljungberg scratched: Freddie Ljungberg was listed as a reserve on the original roster we received, and there had been some indication this week that he might play. However, we have just been informed that he is not in uniform. His place on the reserve roster is being filled by Brad Evans.
Kickoff delayed: They're doing introductions now. Sounders wearing their usual home green/blue. Rapids wearing the same maroon/white they wore Saturday in Colorado.
We had been told all week that it would be a 7 p.m. kickoff, but it turns out it's going to be 7:15.
Nice day and nice crowd, however.
Lineups: Just got the starting lineups. Lots of reserves going for the Sounders, but with the notable exception of Kasey Keller in goal. That sets up an interesting keeper combination of Keller for the Sounders and former USL Sounder Preston Burpo going to the Rapids. Also in the Colorado lineup is Tacoma Tide alum Ciaran O'Brien.
For Seattle: GK Keller; D Brown, Hurtado, Ianni, Wahl; M Nyassi, King, Sturgis, Forrest; F Levesque, Le Toux.
For Colorado: GK Burpo; D Kimura, Harden, Valentino, Holody; M Peterson, Ballouchy, Cooke, O'Brien; F Schunk, Richardson.
5:45: Just arrived at the stadium, and they were still selling tickets general admission tickets outside.
We'll have our normal gamenight ritual here: Pregame news as it happens (the lineups should be interesting), then highlights from the game, then heading back with postgame notes and quotes.