Sounders Insider

RSL-DC meet in rare Sounders-free USOC final

us-open-cup1For the first time since 2008, Seattle Sounders FC will not be participating in a U.S. Open Cup final.

Here's a report from U.S. Soccer:

The 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final is set as D.C. United and Real Salt Lake advanced through the semifinal round of the 100th edition of the tournament.

D.C. United is headed to its fifth U.S. Open Cup Final after beating the Chicago Fire 2-0 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Real Salt Lake defeated the Portland Timbers 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

D.C. is in search of its third crown, having won the event in 1996 and 2008. Real Salt Lake has advanced to its first U.S. Open Cup Final. The championship will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Rio Tinto Stadium and will be broadcast live on GolTV. In Wednesday's first Open Cup semifinal, D.C. and Chicago had limited scoring chances through most of the first half, but D.C. United's Dwayne De Rosario tallied a goal in the 44th minute to give his side a 1-0 lead heading into the break.

Luis Silva challenged Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson on a cross that was up for grabs. Johnson could not secure it and De Rosario capitalized on the loose ball from the left side of the box, driving his shot past Fire defender Gonzales Segares and into the right side of the frame. For De Rosario, it is his fifth goal of the tournament to tie for the scoring lead with the Portland Timbers' Frederic Piquionne. De Rosario also has nine career U.S. Open Cup goals.

D.C. United padded its lead in the 48th minute with midfielder Nick DeLeon zigzagging his way through several Fire defenders at the top of the box and shooting past Johnson for his first goal of the tournament.

D.C. United goalkeeper Joe Willis made six saves for the clean sheet.

In Wednesday's later semifinal, Alvaro Saborio gave Real Salt Lake an early boost with a seventh-minute header past Portland Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, scoring off of Kyle Beckerman's cross to take a 1-0 lead.

It was Saborio's second goal of this year's Open Cup. He had a late second-half tally during Salt Lake's 3-0 quarterfinal victory against the North American Soccer League's Carolina RailHawks on June 26.

Salt Lake took control of the match in the 78th minute when Saborio laid off the ball to Joao Plata who perfectly placed his 20-yard shot toward the upper left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead. It was Plata's second goal of the tournament as he scored the game-winning penalty kick in the fourth round against the Charleston Battery en route to a 5-2 victory on June 12.

Portland midfielder Diego Valeri made it interesting in the 90th minute when he rebounded his own shot to cut Salt Lake's lead to 2-1. Valeri's initial shot was saved by a diving Nick Rimando, but Valeri headed the rebound over the veteran Real Salt Lake goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Real Salt Lake has scored 13 goals in its four games in this year's U.S. Open Cup - the best scoring rate among the semifinalists. The U.S. Open Cup Final will mark the fifth straight home match for Real Salt Lake in this year's tournament.

Real Salt Lake set a modern-era attendance record for the semifinal round with 14,742 at Wednesday's game, while the combined attendance for the semifinals (25,778) also set a record. The Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United match drew 11,036 spectators.