Tuesday brought multiple doses of bad news for Seattle Sounders FC, which was eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup after watching star forward Obafemi Martins wheeled off the field after suffering an undisclosed injury.Martins’ injury combined with the earlier ejection of Brad Evans to put the
Sounders two men down at the time of the winning goal. In the closing minutes, Micheal Azira was sent off for a serious foul and Clint Dempsey for abusive language, leaving the Sounders four men down at the end.
Still, they were even in extra time before a Rodney Wallace rebound from in front of the goal put them behind to stay. Maximiliano Urruti added the late capper that ended it, 3-1.
“(Portland coach Caleb Porter) at the end of (the Timbers’ Open Cup loss) last year said it was the worst refereeing performance he’s ever seen,”
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “Well, I think it was topped this year. … I thought our guys played like lions. I thought they left their hearts out on the field. And I think they got robbed.”
The result dethroned the four-time and defending Open Cup champions in their first match of the 2015 tournament.
It was the Sounders first loss in 17 U.S. Open Cup games at Starfire since joining MLS in 2009.
Portland took its first lead in the 48th minute, when Diego Valeri slipped between Chad Marshall and Leo Gonzalez, getting his foot to the ball before Gonzalez could head it away.
Seattle’s offense responded almost instantly, with dangerous chances coming from Aaron Kovar and Obafemi Martins.
The breakthrough came from Martins in the 79th minute, touching in a ball that had pinballed among legs in front of the goal before being sent back in.
By then, the Sounders had been playing shorthanded for about eight minutes, Evans was sent off with his second yellow card. That grew to two men down in the 88th minute, when Martins went down after a collision and never got back to his feet.
Schmid said Martins would undergo a magnetic resonance imaging test today to clarify an injury generally described in the groin area.
Azira was sent off for a tackle in the 112th minute. Dempsey received a red following that call.
Before it was over, Schmid exiled himself before he could be sent off with them.
“I didn’t want to get thrown out, so I just walked away from the bench because I was maybe going to choke a referee,” he said. “So I figured I’d walk away before I did something stupid.”
Portland began with mostly a first-11 lineup. The Sounders went with more of a mix: goalkeeper Troy Perkins starting, Stefan Frei in reserve; forward Martins starting, Dempsey on the bench; defenders Evans and Marshall starting in the middle, Dylan Remick and Tyrone Mears on the bench out wide. In the second half, Dempsey, Remick and Mears appeared.
The Sounders 2 USL team also was eliminated from the Open Cup on Tuesday as Real Salt Lake came from behind for a 2-1 win in Utah.
Sounders FC return to Major League Soccer regular-season play at 1 p.m. Saturday, when the San Jose Earthquakes visit CenturyLink Field.
113: About eight minutes left, and Sounders go FOUR men down as Azira sent off for a rough tackle and Dempsey off for dissent.
100th: GOAL TImbers. Shot saved, but Wallace sends it back in. Portland, 2-1.
FT: Sounders-Timbers 1-1 and headed for extra time. (As did both S2 matches here this Open Cup. S2 eliminated tonight at SKC, btw.)
Shots 11-7 SEA: on target 5-2 SEA. corners 7-2 SEA. (Men on field 11-9 PORT)
88' Martins going off on a stretcher. Not sure of injured body part. Didn't seem nose, but we'll pass along update. Sounders two men down.
79' GOAL Sounders. Equalizer pure pinball stuff in front with Obafemi Martins redirecting it in. 1-1.
71' Second yellow to Evans, and Sounders a man down. However ... Clint Dempsey in for Kovar.
55' Sounders offensive swarming far more dangerously than before Timbers moved ahead. Still 1-0.
49' GOAL Timbers. Valeri gets his foot to a ball from close range. Assist to Wallace. Portland, 1-0.
Halftime: Scoreless. Shots 2-1 SEA; on target 0-0; fouls 10-5 SEA; corners 4-0 SEA.
38' Yellow to Evans. Rose got one earlier.
First 30: Scoreless. Back and forth. No real chances or control to either side yet.
First kick: ... has been struck. Timbers in green/white; Sounders in pitch black.
Lineups: For Sounders: Perkins; Fisher, Evans, Marshall, Gonzalez; Roldan, Azira, Rose, Kovar; Martins, Neagle. Reserves: Frei, Remick, Mears, Thomás, Jones, Dempsey.
For Timbers: Kwarasey, Powell, Borchers, Paparatto, Villafaña, Jewsbury (c), Fochive, Nagbe, Valeri, Wallace, Adi. Reserves: Weber, Peay, Nanchoff, Yartey, Fernández, Urruti
Pregame: It's a warm sunny evening at Starfire Sports Stadium as we count down to 7:30 and the start of the Sounders' defense of their U.S. Open Cup. Their opening (but fourth-round) opponent is the Portland Timbers.
Meanwhile, a half hour earlier and one time zone away, Sounders 2 will meet Real Salt Lake in a fourth-round match at Sandy, Utah. We'll update that one as we can as well.