The Sounders punched their latest ticket with a 6-0 mauling of the Chicago Fire on Wednesday before a sellout crowd of 4,361 at Starfire Sports Stadium.
In this case, it’s a ticket to Philadelphia, where the Sounders will face the Union on Sept. 16 for the 101st U.S. Open Cup championship. Seattle won in 2009, 2010 and 2011 before settling for runner-up in 2012.
Seattle advanced this time behind a pair of goals from both Andy Rose and Kenny Cooper, the opener from Chad Barrett and a late add-on by Obafemi Martins when things started getting out of hand.With All-Star forwards Clint Dempsey not in uniform and Martins among the reserves, Cooper and
Barrett started up top. And they quickly pushed Seattle to an early lead as Cooper took a well-timed run down the right side, cut back on his defender, and then sent a pass across the goalmouth, where Barrett knocked it into the top of the net.
The Fire had several good chances in the middle minutes of the first half, but couldn’t get anything past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
The Sounders doubled their lead in the 33rd minute, as Andy Rose headed in a corner kick taken by Marco Pappa.
That combination – Pappa cross to Rose head, to back of net -- repeated again in the 58th minute, but this time it increased Seattle’s lead to 3-0.
Martins came on in the 74th minute and scored five minutes later from close range.
Cooper produced the final two back-to-back goals in the closing minutes.
All the while, Frei kept the clean sheet. And helping him along was right back DeAndre Yedlin, who earlier in the day had been part of a transfer agreement that will send him to Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League next year.
Yedlin played the full 90 minutes against Chicago.
The Sounders return to their Major League Soccer regular season at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Real Salt Lake.
85' The onslaught continued faster than I can record it. Goals by Martins, Cooper and then Cooper again in about a five-minute span. Seattle, 6-0.
58' GOAL Seattle. Rose header again, assisted by Pappa again. Sounders, 3-0.
Second half: ... has begun
Halftime: HT: Goals 2-0 SEA; shots 8-6 SEA; on target 4-3 SEA; corners 3-0 SEA; fouls 5-5; offside 3-0 SEA; Saves 3-2 SEA.
33' GOAL Seattle. Andy Rose sends in a header after well-earned corner kick. Sounders up, 2-0.
6' GOAL Sounders. Cooper times run just avoiding offside, carried, jukes back, crosses to Barrett, and he sends it into top of net. 1-0.
First kick: ... has been stuck. Sounders in pitch black kits, Fire in blue/red.
Lineups: For Sounders: Frei; Yedlin, Anibaba, Scott, Evans; M Neagle, Alonso, Rose, Pappa; F Cooper, Barrett. Reserves: Hahnemann; Azira, Gonzalez, Marshall, Martins, Pineda, Weaver.
Pregame: It is a cloudy day in Tukwila, about two hours before the start of the Sounders' U.S. Open Cup semifinal match against the Chicago Fire.
The game is scheduled to start around 7:30 p.m. No tickets remain available. There also is no television or English-language radio. However, the game will be streamed live at SoundersFC.com. We'll also keep this blog active before, during and after the match along with updates and comments on Twitter @donruiztnt.
The winner will visit the Philadelphia Union in the final Sept. 16, while the loser is eliminated. There must be a winner and loser, and so if the game is even after 90 minutes, there will be 30 minutes of extra time. If the tie remains, the game will be settled by penalty kicks.
The Sounders have never failed to advance in their 15 Open Cup matches at Starfire.