The Sounders have not completed three seasons as a modern-era, Major League Soccer version of their thirty-seven year old franchise, yet they stand on the doorway of a dynasty. Defeating FC Dallas on Tuesday, places them one step closer to making that dream become reality.
A perfect way for the US Open Cup to attract more attention is for a team to turn a successful legacy into a historic dynasty. Tuesday at Starfire Sports Complex, in Tukwila, Washington, Sounders FC host FC Dallas for their fifth consecutive US Open Cup Semi-Final. A win puts them into the US Open Cup Final for the third consecutive year. Winning the final would firmly secure their place in US Soccer history.
Ninety-six years of history. The US Open Cup is barely a blip on the US Sports map. The Sounders are helping to change that. The US Open Cup winner earns a valuable shot at Champions League. Both FC Dallas and Seattle became the first US teams to defeat Mexican clubs on their home soil. FC Dallas defeated Pumas 1-nil on August 17th. While Sounders FC traveled to Monterrey, winning by the same 1-nil score on August 23rd. The two prestigious victories combined with Real Salt Lake reaching the CONCACAF Champions League Final last year, means Champions League stock is rising for MLS clubs. The US Open Cup should also rise in value as winning it earns no less than a play-in opportunity for Champions League. The Sounders have made that a successful route to accomplishing their clubs highly valued goal of winning the CONCACAF Champions League. They have made Champions League two consecutive years via the US Open Cup Champion play-in designation.
This will be the third time FC Dallas and Sounders FC meet this year. Seattle lost on May 25th. A tough 1-nil loss at home. Dallas scored first and held off Seattle’s relentless pressure the rest of the way. Sounders FC turned the table on FC Dallas, winning 1-nil in Texas on August 20th. Both home teams deserved a result, but both stole a road victory surviving the others relentless attack. The recent win by Sounders FC, in Frisco, Texas vaulted them into second place in the Western Conference behind the LA Galaxy.
Chicago Fire have won the US Open Cup four times, with Seattle winning the past two. A win this year and Sounders FC becomes the first MLS team to win three consecutive, as well as first to accomplish the feat modern-era professional club since the New York Greek-American from 1967-69. The US Open Cup is filled with a rich tradition and diverse mix of teams. It is some of the most culturally rich and exciting sporting history in the US. Only not as sexy as its pass and run football relative, or basketball. A win for the Sounders over FC Dallas may be a win for the US Open Cup. Both teams deserve a shot at the final. But one could turn a dynasty into a selfless act of sporting good-will for a tournament long overdue for a high-profile sporting champion.
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© 2011 Sales on Sounders by Ryan Sales