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Seattle Slew Crew Tuesday Night for 2nd Consecutive US Open Cup Title

The Seattle Sounders made history Tuesday night, being the first team in the modern era to capture consecutive Lamar Hunt US Open Cup titles..  Last year, the Sounders won the Cup at RFK Stadium, downing DC United.  This year, before a crowd of over 31,000 at Seattle’s Qwest Field, the Sounders defeated the Columbus Crew 2-1.

What a game!   Columbus opened the scoring with a beautiful display of passing prowess, working the ball in Seattle’s third of the field until Kevin Burns struck a low shot in the 24th minute that beat Sounders’ goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who couldn’t quite dive far enough and fast enough to prevent the goal.  Steve Lenhart got the assist for the Crew.

But Seattle didn’t wait long to come back.  Twenty-one year old Gambian international Sanna  Nyassi struck paydirt fourteen minutes later, netting past Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum to knot the score.  Nyassi was fed the ball by midfielder Nathan Sturgis, who successfully fought for the ball after Gruenebaum had punched the ball away on a Tyson Wahl shot. The teams went into the locker room at intermission tied 1-1.

Nyassi would strike again.  In the 66th minute, teammate Steve Zakuani headed a shot that bounced hard off the Crew crossbar, and Nyassi finished off the rebound, sending the Seattle crowd into rapture.  Seattle pretty well controlled the flow of play during the second half, as Columbus seemed to run out of ideas, though it was enjoyable to see veteran right back Frankie Hejduk running down the right flank, trying to get his team back into the game.  Substitute Robbie Rogers almost complied, as the Crew’s US international banged a shot off the Seattle crossbar that had Keller beaten, with about five minutes remaining in regulation time.  After five plus minutes of stoppage time,, the game ended with Seattle triumphant.   Seattle captain Keller was the first to lift the Dewar Trophy, and the 97th US Open Cup champion was crowned.  The Sounders will also receive the $100,000 that goes with the prize.

What a night for soccer in the United States.  Two worthy teams playing an entertaining match in front of a huge, partisan crowd before a national TV audience.  The Seattle crowd was the largest ever to witness a US Open Cup game.  Congratulations to Coach Robert Warzycha and the Crew for a noble performance, and to Sigi Schmid and the Sounders on a great victory for their fans, and for American soccer.

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One Response

  1. I went to double check the starting lineups for the US Open Cup final at ESPN Soccernet ‘Live Scores,’ and alas, the game wasn’t featured…..although there were match results and lineups listed for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tournament and English Conference games, Huh?

    I like ESPN quite a bit, but c’mon guys and gals. ESPN headquarters are located in Bristol, Connecticut, not Bristol in England. We play soccer in the US too.

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