Sounders FC

Sounders play at San Jose in next US Open Cup game on June 28

Staff reports

Sounders players surround midfielder Zach Mathers and celebrate in front of fans after Mathers scored the go-ahead goal against the Portland Timbers during the second half of a U.S. Open Cup soccer match Tuesday at Starfire Stadium.
Sounders players surround midfielder Zach Mathers and celebrate in front of fans after Mathers scored the go-ahead goal against the Portland Timbers during the second half of a U.S. Open Cup soccer match Tuesday at Starfire Stadium. AP

It’s on to the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup for the Seattle Sounders, where they will play the San Jose Earthquakes on June 28 at 7:30 p.m. in San Jose, U.S. soccer announced Thursday.

Should the Sounders, who’ve won the U.S. Open four times including three in a row from 2009-11, beat San Jose they would host the winner of LA Galaxy-Sacramento Republic FC game in a quarterfinal match to be scheduled between July 7-16.

Seattle advanced to the fifth round with a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Tuesday at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila. Zach Mathers’ 55th minute goal on a penalty kick goal broke the tie and improved the Sounders’ record to 23-3-4 all-time in the tournament since joining the MLS. Seattle opened the scoring on a goal by Aaron Kovar.

Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer, who fielded a team of reserves and players from S2, saw plenty of positives in the victory. He credited S2 coach Ezra Hendrickson for the development of the young players.

“I think they all played well. To me what it says is that the things we’re trying to do at this club – get the Academy integrated and get S2 integrated with the first team – I think some of those things you’re seeing a little bit of bearing some fruit there,” Schmetzer said.

“It’s a lot of hard work by Ezra, a lot of hard work by the Academy guys, and that’s pushing up to our I level. That’s what I like to see. I thought all of the S2 players played extremely well.”

FREI NOW A CITIZEN

Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei on Tuesday announced that he had passed the U.S. citizenship test. The 31-year-old posted a picture of himself draped in a U.S. flag on social media.

“Thank you all for the love and support! I’m proud to finally be an American and will do everything to make my fellow citizens proud (hashtag) USA,” he wrote.

Frei was born in Switzerland and played briefly for that country’s national youth team before moving to California as a teenager. He was called up to a U.S. national team camp earlier this year, but he was not eligible to play for the team without his citizenship.

BACK TO THE MLS

The Sounders returns to MLS play this Saturday with a national televised matchup against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium. It’s the first league game since the team downed Houston, 1-0, on June 4 in Seattle.

The international callups should be available for the game, too. Backs Joevin Jones (Trinidad and Tobago) and Roman Torres (Panama) each played Tuesday, with Torres scoring the tying goal agains Honduras. United State national team members Jordan Morris and Clint Dempsey are back as well. Neither played in the 1-1 tie against Mexico on Sunday.

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