Sounders Insider

Sounders eliminated from Open Cup, 1-0

us-open-cup1After four seasons of long runs through the U.S. Open Cup, Seattle Sounders FC was bounced from the tournament in its opening match of the 2013 tournament on Wednesday.

The Sounders gave up a goal in the 75th minute, missed what could have been an equalizing penalty kick in the 85th minute, and were eliminated 1-0 by the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the second-division NASL at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Schmid tried to make do with a lineup that included only one player who had started more than half of this season’s 11 MLS games: defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (10 starts).

Part of that was to rest tired regulars in the middle of a stretch of three games in seven days.

Schmid also had to do without forward Eddie Johnson and midfielder Brad Evans, who were in Cleveland with the United States national team, and midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and defender Patrick Ianni, who were ineligible due to red cards they received in the 2012 Open Cup final.

The teams played evenly most of the way, with few especially dangerous chances on either side.

That finally changed in the 75th minute, when midfielder Luke Mulholland split a pair of Sounders on a run into the penalty area. There, he fired a shot that goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann blocked, but the ball looped past him to the far corner when Rowdies forward Georgi Hristov knocked it in from about 2 yards.

Seattle’s best chance to score came about 10 minutes later when Tampa Bay defender Jordan Gafa was given a red card for a handball in front of the Rowdies goal. That not only gave the Sounders a one-man advantage for the final minutes, but it awarded them a penalty kick to draw even.

Designated player Obafemi Martins, who had subbed on in the 80th minute, was selected to take the kick. He approached the ball, did a slight stutter step, and then knocked the ball low and left where it was stopped by Tampa Bay goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.

The Rowdies held on from there and will advance to the fourth round of the Open Cup.

The result eliminated the Sounders, who had won the tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and had advanced to the 2012 final, where they lost to Sporting Kansas City.

The Sounders return to Major League Soccer play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Chivas USA.

Final: Sounders eliminated from U.S. Open Cup. Hristov goal gives Tampa Bay 1-0 win. Martins would-be equalizing PK saved late.

Rowdies will go on to fourth-round, facing winner of Portland-Wilmington later tonight.

Sounders return to their only remaining competition -- MLS -- on Saturday at Chivas USA.

I'll be back with quotes as soon as possible.

86' Obafemi Martins PK is on target -- low and left -- but saved. Kick followed hand ball in box, which also drew red card. Tampa Bay holds its 1-0 lead, but is a man down.

80' Obafemi Martins replaces Remick as Sounders push for the goal they need to avoid elimination.

75' GOAL Rowdies. Tampa Bay nice run up the middle of the pitch and into the box. Hahnemann gets save on first shot by Mulholland, but rebound by Hristov from about 2 yards puts Sounders at death's door. TB, 1-0.

Open Cup final: Carolina 2, LA Galaxy 0.

68' Sammy Ochoa in for Caskey.

Through 60: Still scoreless. Game seems to be opening a bit. No Sounders subs yet. Lots of quality on the bench.

53' Yellow to Alex Caskey for pretty painful high kick.

Second half: ... has begun.

Halftime: Nil-nil. Shots 5-5; on goal, 2-1 SEA; fouls 10-2 SEA; corners 3-2 TB.

First 30 minutes: Scoreless. Sounders control growing. Two especially good chances from Marino Martinez. Rowdies have had a couple of chances as well.

First 15 minutes: Scoreless. No great chances yet. Maybe slight advantage in play to the Sounders.

First kick: ... has been struck. We're under way.

Basics: The Sounders open U.S. Open Cup at 4:30 tonight at the Tampa Bay Rowdies. There is no TV or radio, but the game will be streaked at SoundersFC.com, tweeted @donruiztnt and I'll keep this blog post open all afternoon, through the game and right through to postgame quotes.

Sounders lineup:Coach Sigi Schmid hinted yesterday at a new-look lineup, and he wasn't kidding.

Here's what he settled on:GK - 24 Marcus Hahnemann RB – 33 Dylan RemickCB - 34 Jhon Kennedy HurtadoCB – 20 Zach Scott (captain)LB – 8 Marc BurchRM – 15 Mario MartinezCM – 23 Servando CarrascoCM – 25 Andy RoseLM – 14 Alex CaskeyF – 16 David EstradaF – 27 Lamar NeagleReserves: Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Shalrie Joseph, Obafemi Martins, Sammy Ochoa, Eriq Zavaleta

Here's what Schmid said yesterday:“All cup games have been exciting for us because like we’ve always said as a team, when we enter something we try to win it. Our lineup choices tomorrow are more a reflection of who we think needs some rest, some injury concerns that we have with some people, and obviously some guys being gone with the national team. Certainly, we know Tampa is a quality opponent. They’re the defending champions of the second division. They’re going to be at home, they’re going to be highly motivated. I think they maybe got caught looking ahead in their game on Saturday and ended up losing on Saturday, so maybe they were looking ahead to this game, but they’re going to be highly motivated. For our guys, it’s also a great opportunity because there’s going to be some guys on the field who haven’t gotten a lot of playing time recently, so it’s a chance for them to show in a meaningful competition and a meaningful game exactly that they’re somebody that wants to be back into that mix in the 18, especially in the upcoming weeks with the guys missing for national teams.”

For Rowdies: GK – 24 Diego Restrepo RB – 6 Jordan Gafa CB – 2 Daniel Scott CB – 32 Takuya Yamada (captain) LB – 3 Andres Arango RM – 8 Luke Mulholland CM – 11 Shane Hill CM – 22 Keith Savage LM – 9 Raphael Cox; F – 21 Devin Del Do; F – 10 Georgi Hristov Reserves: Andrew Fontein, Kyle Clinton, Jay Needham, Thurstan Johnson, Evans Frimpong, Mike Ambersley, Amani Walker.

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