Sounders Insider

Final: Sounder advance 1-0 on penalty kick

Sounders advance to the semis with a 1-0 win, the lone goal coming on a Sebastien Le Toux PK after Fredy Montero was dumped in the box (following a sweet pass from Stephen King). (Here's my game story.)

It all played out before a crowd of 4,352 at Starfire.

"It took long enough for sure," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. "Overall, in the run of play, we created a lot of chances. We were a little bit unfortunate. … I was happy that defensively we didn't break down. We didn't give anything away; and that put us in a position when we were awarded the penalty we take advantage and turn it into a win."

So, why didn't Montero take the kick?

Le Toux is the official kicker in this tournament, and had scored two penalties before," Montero said. "I did ask, I wanted to kick it, but ultimately it's a technical decision and what's best for the team. And it was a score, so that's what counts. ... Sure, I'm always pushing myself to score and would have preferred to, but what counts is that I at least forced a penalty, and that resulted in a score and brought us to the semifinal."

"I was feeling like I had to take it," Le Toux said. "As the coach tells us, it's not good to maybe take a shot when you've had a foul on you. … Of course, there is a little pressure. I knew I had to score if I decide to take the PK. I was confident."

The win makes the Sounders one of three Major League Soccer teams advancing to the semifinals of the Open Cup, which is open to all levels of soccer in this country.

Seattle will return to Starfire at 7 p.m. July 21 for its semifinal match against Houston. The Dynamo advanced by beating the Charleston Battery, 4-0, Tuesday in South Carolina.

In the other bracket, D.C. United of MLS will meet Rochester of USL-1.

The championship game will be played Sept. 1 at a site to be determined.

"It's always about titles, and you always want to win games," Schmid said. "… It's something that's exciting. Word on the street is that it might lead to a CONCACAF Champions League spot as well; so that's important to the club. I think our guys for sure can smell it now and taste it, and obviously the next round is Houston and that's going to be another tough game. But I think our team is looking forward to that. We're basically two steps away from trying to bring a title to Seattle."

88th minute: The keeper knocked down Fredy Montero in the box. Sebastien Le Toux hit the pk to make it 1-0.

78th minute: Nyassi out, Levesque in.

70th minute: Le Toux in for Sturgis. Claudio Lopez in for the Wiz.

55th minute: Sounders missing and missing and missing in a way that often comes back to bite you. Zakuani just went down in the box ... and no call. (A good no-call in my opinion.) Then Montero got free in the box and shot wide of the near post. Then Zakauni almost traced Montero's footsteps and this time lofted his shot over the bar.

Halftime: Chances, yes; finishes, no. We're nil-nil at the half.

23rd minute: Halfway though the half, both teams have had solid chances, but the Sounders still are having the better run of play.

10th minute: Just about everything has been played on the Wizards end so far, but no breaktrhough yet.

Kickoff: We're under way: Sounders in their usual green/blue; Wizards in all white.

Hmmm Well, it's straight up 7 p.m. ... and the teams just left the field. So, we could be heading for one of those late starts as we endured last week in Portland.

I'll click in when we get a kickoff.

Lineups: The lineup is out for tonight's game against the Wizards, and there are more familiar names than for any Cup game so far.

Sounders: GK, Keller; D Riley, Hurtado, Ianni, Wahl; M Nyassi, Sturgis, King, Zakuani; F Montero, Jaqua.

Very interested to see Nyassi streaking down one side and Zakuani down the other.

For the Wizards: Hartman, Leathers, McKenzie, Hohlbein, Besler, Gomez, Hirsig, Jewsbury, Harrington, Wolff, Thompson. (That's nine of the 11 who started Saturday against Houston.)

Pregame: At Starfire, which seems a little more crowded a little earlier than usual tonight.

Normal gameday blogging plan: I'll have any pregame news as it happens, then updates with any news and every goal, then postgame notes and quotes. Kickoff is 7 p.m. There's no radio or TV, but an audiocast at SounderFC.com.

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