David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: goalseattle@gmail.com
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Seattle Soccer Examiner

Seattle Soccer Examiner

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sounders climb past the Goats 2-0

Preki's pre-match comments: crazy like a fox?

The Seattle Sounders have advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2008 United States Open Cup after a 2-0 victory over Major League Soccer side Chivas USA.

Le Toux on the prowl. (Rick Morrison)

Taylor Graham's snap header just before halftime was the eventual winner and Sebastien Le Toux's late-match chip over Brad Guzan was the clincher.

The Sounders dominated long stretches of the match played at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.

Video: was it a missed pk call? Plus slow-mo of Graham's match-winner...

Despite newspaper reports stating that Chivas USA and their head coach Preki were taking this match seriously, before the game Preki chatted with me and downplayed the contest, talking about playing 'his reserves,' and noting 'MLS clubs do not take this tournament seriously.'

Chivas USA started US National Team goalkeeper Brad Guzan and US National Team midfielder Sacha Kljestan among other regulars.

Chris Eylander has three straight shut outs in 2008 USOC play.
(Rick Morrsion)

The Sounders could have made the score 3 or 4 nil with late strikes by Le Toux that zoomed just wide.

“This makes people truly believe we have good players on this team,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said, “and that (last year) wasn’t a fluke.”

Match-winning scorer Taylor Graham spoke afterwards about the quick adjustments needed in the US Open Cup, and how having a 2-0 lead late on gave the defense assurance.

New Costa Rican defender Michael Rodriguez helped baffle the Chivas attack.
(Rick Morrison)

“There’s not all that much time to work on stuff, so it’s more of a mentality. It’s something we discussed in the locker room,” Graham said. “We have to close out games.

“That goal at the end, it feels so good to have that cushion,” he added. “We learned the hard way after giving up one to Montreal on Saturday, it felt like a loss, even though we drew.”

Josh Gardner controls in first-half action.

The Sounders return to USL-1 play on Thursday with a trip to Carolina. The Railhawks, coming off their Open Cup loss to Kansas City on Tuesday, dealt Seattle one of its two defeats in league play, 2-1 in Cary, N.C., on May 28. The Sounders will remain on the East Coast after the game, playing at Charleston on Saturday.

Now, having made it to the quarterfinals for the second straight season, the Sounders will take on the Kansas City Wizards of MLS next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Qwest. Tickets go on sale Wednesday morning at www.ticketmaster.com. Prices are $17 in advance, or $20 on game night.

It will be the second time Seattle and Kansas City have matched up in quarterfinal play. The Wizards rolled to a 4-0 victory at Kansas City in a second-round game in 2001.

Match Reports:
The Seattle Pitch
Seattle Sounders
Seattle P-I
Seattle Times
Chivas USA

Photo Galleries:
Rick Morrison
Jenni Conner
David Falk

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