Tonight at 9 pm Eastern Time the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will be decided between Sporting KC and the Seattle Sounders. Despite some upsets along the way, two MLS squads advanced to the final game. This mid-season tournament aims to add excitement to the landscape of soccer in the United States and it did just that with teams from the NASL and USL providing some interesting moments. However, Seattle is the reigning three time champion, but must travel to Kansas City to secure the fourth.
It is a homecoming for Seattle forward Eddie Johnson, who scored the winning goal in the MLS All Star Game. He had many trials overseas but returned to a successful season, thus far, in the United States. Seattle coach Sigi Schmid says Johnson is motivated.
"I know he still has friends and people that he knows in the area and people that he knows that have played for Kansas City even though there aren’t many left from when he was around. His motivation is the same as it is every game – just showing that he’s still a very good soccer player, and he’s shown that so far this season and he wants to show it again tomorrow night."
Having won this straight knockout competition for three years running is quite the feat for the Sounders. The birth in the Champions League tournament has been their reward and coach Schmid mentioned it in his pre-match interview. Looking at the quarterfinal match ups this year should tell most that it is not a guarantee for MLS teams to own this competition with Harrisburg, Dayton, and Charlotte all being represented making the accomplishment even more stunning.
They will be matching up with a KC team that loves to press from back line forward. Sporting KC will push forward and bring man different looks on an attack. However, their coach Peter Vermes has had to circulate his roster to deal with injuries to reach the final. Still their motivation is to bring a championship to a city devoid of anything since 2004 and a cup with the namesake of the team’s first owner. Of course the revenue possibilities from earning a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League would be nice, especially for a local ownership group.
The match can be seen on GolTV.
SPORTING KANSAS CITY ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Jimmy Nielsen, 18-Eric Kronberg, 21-Jon Kempin
DEFENDERS (12): 2-Michael Harrington, 3-Korede Aiyegbusi, 4-Kevin Ellis, 5-Matt Besler, 12-Konrad Warzycha, 13-Lawrence Olum, 16-Seth Sinovic, 24-Cyprian Hedrick, 25-Neven Markovic, 27-Kyle Miller, 55-Julio Cesar, 78-Aurelien Collin
MIDFIELDERS (7): 6-Paulo Nagamura, 7-Chance Myers, 8-Graham Zusi, 15-Roger Espinoza, 19-Peterson Joseph, 20-Oriol Rosell, 88-Michael Thomas
FORWARDS (7): 9-Teal Bunbury, 11-Bobby Convey, 14-Dom Dwyer, 17-C.J. Sapong, 22-Soony Saad, 23-Kei Kamara, 37-Jacob Peterson
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (4): 1-Michael Gspurning, 29-Josh Ford, 33-Andrew Weber, 35-Bryan Meredith
DEFENDERS (9): 4-Patrick Ianni, 5-Adam Johansson, 8-Marc Burch, 12-Leonardo Gonzalez, 20-Zach Scott, 30-Andrew Duran, 31-Jeff Parke, 32-Daniel Steres, 34-Jhon Kennedy Hurtado
MIDFIELDERS (9): 3-Brad Evans, 6-Osvaldo Alonso, 10-Mauro Rosales, 13-Christian Tiffert, 14-Michael Tetteh, 22-Mike Seamon, 23-Servando Carrasco, 25-Andy Rose, 27-Alex Caskey
FORWARDS (7): 7-Eddie Johnson, 11-Steve Zakuani, 16-David Estrada, 17-Fredy Montero, 19-Babayele Sodade, 21-Cordell Cato, 26-Sammy Ochoa