Meanwhile, he's a look ahead to U.S. Open Cup from a club news release:
It's an opportunity for a new beginning as the Seattle Sounders FC comes home for two pivotal matches this week. First comes a chance to take a step toward repeating as U.S. Open Cup champion in a Wednesday evening quarterfinal showdown with the L.A. Galaxy. On Sunday night the second half of the Major League Soccer season begins against FC Dallas. A capacity crowd is expected for Seattle's Open Cup fixture at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT. The 25th consecutive sellout crowd will be at the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field on Sunday to support the Sounders FC bid to get back in the win column against FC Dallas. It starts at 7:30 p.m. PT. Seattle (4-8-3, 15 points in MLS) will be at home to play four of its next five competitive matches, plus a friendly. It completed a stretch of three consecutive MLS and cup road games by falling, 3-1, at Los Angeles last Sunday. Sounders FC has lost five of the last six, including three in a row for the first time. Still searching for its first victory over a Western Conference opponent, the Rave Green is unbeaten (1-0-2) in three previous meetings with FC Dallas (5-2-6, 21 points), beginning the week six points in front of Seattle and fourth in the West. Dallas has won three in a row and is unbeaten in four. The two sides drew, 2-2, in Frisco, Texas on April 22. Meanwhile, in cup play, Sounders FC extended its undefeated run to seven matches at Portland last week by drawing 1-1 with the Timbers. Seattle won the penalty kick tiebreaker, 4-3. If it advances past the Galaxy, Sounders FC will host either the Houston Dynamo on August 31 or Chivas USA on September 1 in an Open Cup semifinal at Starfire. The Open Cup Final is scheduled for October 5. Wednesday's quarterfinal will be webcast on www.SoundersFC.com. Sunday's game will be televised on KING 5 and heard on News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM with Arlo White calling the play. In Spanish the match will be broadcast on 1210 AM Homero with Rene Aleman, Noe Menendez and Victor Hernandez.
Seattle visits D.C. United on July 15 in a game to be televised nationally on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. First kick is 4:30 p.m. PT at RFK Stadium. Sounders FC will host Scotland's Celtic FC in another ESPN2 match, a friendly, on July 18 at 12 p.m. PT.One Step Closer
Sounders FC can take a huge stride toward doubling the size of its trophy collection by advancing past the Galaxy and into the semifinal round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. There are a total of six MLS teams in the final eight. Houston hosts Chivas USA on Tuesday night. Seattle defeated five MLS opponents plus Portland en route to its 2009 championship.Repeating: A Difficult Feat
Repeating as champion is difficult, as history has shown. No club in the Open Cup's professional era (since 1994) has accomplished the feat, although five have made it back to the Final. In 2009, Seattle defeated the 2008 cup winner, D.C. United, in the Final. The last club to successfully defend its championship was the New York Pancyprian Freedoms in 1982-83. The Open Cup is the longest running team tournament championship in the U.S., dating back to 1914. It is open to both amateur and professional clubs who can qualify.Cup History in Seattle
A Seattle team is vying to make the Open Cup semifinals for the fourth year in a row. Sounders FC won the title in 2009 and the USL-1 Sounders reached that stage in both 2007 (against FC Dallas) and 2008 (Charleston). Prior to the Sounders FC victory last year, the only Seattle club to qualify for an Open Cup final was the amateur Mitre Eagles in 1987. The Eagles fell to Club Espana of Washington, D.C., on penalties following a 0-0 draw.
While the NASL Sounders did not participate in the Open Cup, the A-League Sounders competed on an annual basis, beginning in 1995. They lost to El Paso in the semifinals that season, and also advanced to the final four in 1996. Starfire is Surefire The stadium ground at Starfire Sports Complex has proven to be a touchstone for Sounders FC, with the Rave Green winning each of its four cup related games there in 2009. Capacity crowds of increasing sizes backed Seattle to play-in wins over Real Salt Lake (4-1) and Colorado (1-0), followed by tournament victories over Kansas City (1-0) and Houston (2-1 after extra time). A new FieldTurf surface was installed at the stadium last month. Back-to-Back, AgainSounders FC and the Galaxy will be facing off in Open Cup play just three days after meeting in an MLS fixture at The Home Depot Center. It's reminiscent of two Cup fixtures in 2009. Seattle played Colorado three days after drawing, 2-2, against the Rapids away. And in the Cup semifinal, Seattle hosted Houston 10 days following a 2-1 home win.