Here's some Sounders reaction to the club's 1-0 win over Dallas tonight, which puts them through to their third straight U.S. Open Cup final, Oct. 4 against Chicago:
SIGI SCHMIDOn Fredy Montero's goal) "It's been a while since he scored. I thought he was a little unlucky because he almost got on the end of another one. Obviously the bicycle kick was one that he just barely missed, so he could have three tonight with a little bit better luck."
On what winning a third U.S. Open Cup would mean to the team) "It means a lot. We always want to put trophies in there and to be a team to three-peat is something we've got to be proud of because these games are one and done. It's not like we had a bad game, let's come back next week and regroup. So, I'm very proud of what our team has done."
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On the last two week stretch) "It's been great because, like I said, we've won games different ways. We've won games by scoring goals. We've won a game by playing a man down and scoring goals, and we've won games by being able to defend with a lot of resolve and win 1-0. Winning in Mexico at Monterrey was certainly a great highlight, as well."
On the level of competition in the U.S. Open Cup) "I think teams are more into the competition now because they know it brings with it an opportunity to play in the Champions League. Last year, everybody saw the notoriety that Salt Lake got from getting as far as they did in the Champions league, so everyone wants to grab a piece of that. I think the Champions League competition has increased as well in terms of its visibility in our region. As a result of that this tournament has taken on a bigger weight, as well."
On Chicago, their opponent in the U.S. Open Cup Final) "I'm not going to worry about that for a while. Obviously we had a couple of close games with them. They're a team that seems to be on a good run now [...] It's taken Frank Klopas a while to change his team around a little bit and get it working the way he wanted it to work. They're going to be a dangerous team-they've got good speed, they've got some talented players."
On if he would have rather seen Richmond) "I don't care. I never worry about who we're going to play, just that we get there."
On the good defensive play of Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez) "I thought in the first half, especially so. I though Zach did a good job on Brek [Shea] and won some headers there which was really important. As a result you saw in the first half Brek switched over the other wing pretty early on. I thought Leo, as well, did a good job. Second half it wasn't as composed as I would have liked but sometimes games just take on a personality like that."
Goalkeeper KASEY KELLER On the match...) "Yeah, I feel great. We did everything we could to try and throw it away at the end, but somehow we survived. We should have been up three-nil and we almost paid the price by not taking advantage of the chances that we got. But saying that, somehow we hung on and got the win. Another great crowd here at Starfire. We keep that undefeated streak here alive and get back to play another (Open Cup) final, which is tremendous. Great play and now we can go see a huge crowd for another Open Cup."
On playing the final at CenturyLink Field...) "It'll be a big crowd, I'm sure. We're so happy, obviously. The organization has this facility to be able to bid so we get these good home games, which makes a big, big difference for us. Thanks to them and now hopefully we can reward everybody with our third (Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup victory) in a row."
On what went wrong in the second half...) "It's more than that, it's not just our defense letting down. We let them come at us. We let them. We didn't step up and put pressure on them when we should have. We relaxed and we dropped back into flat positions and we just didn't compete how we could have. And it's a shame because we had played so well for about 70 minutes and then the last 20 minutes we just stopped playing. We had some interesting calls, but in the end the result is what's important. Maybe a year and a half ago, maybe two years ago, we might have let this game slip. But right now we're in good form, we're getting those breaks when we need them - they crushed one off the post -- and you need that to get into the finals. We had that going for us today."
Forward FREDY MONTERO On returning to the Finals for the third-straight year...) "It's definitely very motivating and we're all very happy. Thanking God also, because it's not every team that can experience something like that three times in a row."
On his bicycle kick that missed and his subsequent game-winning goal...) "I keep working. Luckily the second one from the distant position got in and gave us a spot in the final."
On whether he felt anxious to score a goal, after a few scoreless outings...) "Not really. One cannot predict when that will happen. The good thing is that the team is working united, all deserving those situations. We know that when something like that happens, it's not the end."
Midfielder ALVARO FERNANDEZ On Fredy Montero's goal...) "It was a good play in the midfield. I managed to catch the ball and noticed Fredy (Montero) get position and I passed the ball. He got a very good finish on the ball and it was a great goal."