Sounders FC

No rest for Sounders as U.S. Open beckons

Seattle Sounders FC returned to practice Sunday morning, about 12 hours after walking out of Qwest Field with a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.

Coach Sigi Schmid ordered the quick turnaround so his team could begin preparations for its U.S. Open Cup play-in game against Real Salt Lake on Tuesday night at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.

Star midfielder Freddie Ljungberg was absent, having left for Sweden after the death of his grandmother.

Ljungberg is expected to return Thursday and to travel with the team Friday when it leaves for its next MLS match Saturday at Chicago.

Several other Sounders regulars also are expected to miss the Cup opener.

Schmid said he supports the tournament, which is open to club teams from all levels of the sport. However, he plans to start a mixture of regulars and reserves against RSL.

“It’s going to be an opportunity for some guys who are coming back off injury,” Schmid said. “It’s going to be an opportunity for some guys who haven’t played as much.”

One such player is forward Jarrod Smith, who had been on the injured list with a quadriceps strain but is free to play this week. Another could be goalkeeper Chris Eylander, who had a scoreless streak of 453 minutes in last year’s U.S. Open Cup, while playing for the USL first-division Sounders.

In MLS action Sunday:

D.C. United 3, at Red Bulls 2: Luciano Emilio and Chris Pontius scored in a span of 36 seconds in the closing minute, giving D.C. United a stunning win over New York.

United (2-1-3) snapped a two-game winless streak, and the Red Bulls (1-4-2) lost their second straight.

Two major defensive breakdowns enabled D.C. to come back after it trailed 2-1 with less than a minute left.

Emilio scored the tying goal in the 89th minute when he secured the ball after a collision with two Red Bulls defenders and slid a shot past keeper Jon Conway.

Pontius assisted on that goal then scored one of his own, capitalizing on another defensive mistake to get the ball before pushing it past Conway in the first minute of added time.

At Toronto FC 1, Wizards 0: Danny Dichio’s first goal of the season ended Kansas City’s unbeaten run at four games. Goaltender Stefan Frei recorded his second consecutive shutout as Toronto (3-2-2) moved into first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com

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