October 6, 2010
OPEN AND SHUT CASE
Sounders take Open Cup again
SEATTLE -- The Seattle Sounders FC are Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup champions again.
In front of the largest crowd to witness an Open Cup final in the history of the 97-year-old tournament, the Sounders FC became the first team to repeat as champion in almost three decades with a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew at Qwest Field on Tuesday night.
After winning their first Dewar Trophy last year in Washington, D.C., the Sounders had the support of 31,311 fans to become the first MLS team to earn back-to-back Open Cup championships and the first team overall since the New York Pancyprian-Freedoms won consecutive titles in 1982 and 1983.
The record attendance smashed the mark of 21,583 set in 1929. Dating back to 1914, the U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in United States soccer and is among the oldest in the world.
“I’m extremely proud of our team,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “We talked about being able to win tonight and doing something special. We’re the first MLS team to repeat and the first to repeat in a long time. The guys really took it to heart and even though we went down 1-0, they showed a lot of character.”
After Kevin Burns scored for the Crew in the 25th minute, Sanna Nyassi took center stage by scoring twice. He equalized in the 38th minute.
Starting from a throw-in, the ball was served into the penalty area by defender Tyson Wahl towards Sanna Nyassi but goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum came dashing off his line to punch it away. The ball fell to Nathan Sturgis before Guillmero Barros Schelotto poked the ball away. The ball fell back towards the top of the box and the feet of Nyassi. The Gambian-born midfielder took full advantage, doing well to turn on the ball and fired it home.
Nyassi connected for the game-winner in the 66th minute.
Freddy Montero sent in a cross from the right side to the left corner of the six-yard box where Steve Zakuani got in front of defender Frankie Hejduk and nodded the ball past Gruenebaum, only to be denied by the crossbar. The ball fell in front of the goal and Nyassi pounced to finish with a left-footed strike.