SAN FRANCISCO – The Seattle Sounders found the cure for what ails them: the U.S. Open Cup.
Mired in a club-record seven-game winless streak in Major League Soccer, Sounders FC stretched its U.S. Open Cup unbeaten streak to 17 games Tuesday with a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes in front of 7,219 at Kezar Stadium.
The difference was a 19th-minute goal by Cordell Cato, who ran up the right side before firing inside the far post from a tight angle.
The Sounders made that stand up behind goalkeeper Andrew Weber, who played the previous three seasons with San Jose.
The win sends the three-time defending-champion Sounders into the Open Cup semifinals against Chivas USA, which defeated the USL Pro Charlotte Eagles, 2-1, on Tuesday. That game will be played at 7 p.m. July 10 at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila. The other semifinal, July 11, has Sporting Kansas City at the Philadelphia Union.
Seattle and San Jose each played MLS games over the weekend, and each played with unconventional lineups Tuesday. The Quakes opened with two of their top three goals scorers – Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart – on the bench, although both came on in the second half. Meanwhile, Seattle coach Sigi Schmid opened with Roger Levesque and Sammy Ochoa at forwards in place of regulars Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson.
The game got rough in the second half. San Jose’s Alan Gordon was sent off with a straight red card in stoppage time. Johnson was involved in a scuffle after the final whistle. blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer