Friday, October 08, 2010

The Largest Crowd in US Open Cup History

Seattle Sounders FC 2
Columbus Crew 1
Lamar Hunt US Open Cup - FINAL
October 5, 2010 - Seattle, WA
X-Box Pitch at Qwest Field

31,311 sets a new US Open Cup record!

In 1977 I was ten and my parents took me to the Sounders versus Cosmos NASL Soccer Bowl game. I was now able to take my eleven year old daughter to a Sounders championship match.

The US Open Cup is now the second title Sigi has won as a coach on the Qwest Field site, even if the 1985 NCAA title with UCLA was a different building in the same place.

Frankie Hejduk is ageless.

It's Sanna Nyassi's world right now, and we all just live in it.

This was the third final to be played in this building with the first two both going to extra PKs after a 1-1 draw. It was 1-1 at the half.

At the prematch rally I got to meet the new SSFC prez, see Drew Carey, and have my flag be noted enough that several folks took pics of it ... then the flag ended up on the screen during the pregame in the stadium. Nice.

Everything is not just a friendly until the playoffs, because the 6 seed in MLS actually has the potential to host a conference title game if all the lower seeds win in the first round. Also the top 6 in MLS got to avoid Open Cup play-in games this season so that is not a bad prize too. In 2005 we got the USL-1 Final as the fifth seed out of six teams when teams five and six were all that was left.

Nkufo was player of the match to me the way he was everywhere, even directing defensive efforts on defensive corners. He was simply a force out there, the way a DP should be.

Winning the Open Cup puts them officially into Concacaf again too ... which I find cool. I went to two of the CCL matches and really enjoyed seeing a Salvadoran and Mexican team in Qwest in competitive fixtures.

The Crew goal was a bit against the run of play, but a nice sequence by a very good team. There are clubs that take tourneys like this more seriously and want to win trophies and clubs that seem happy to just plug along. The Crew, SSFC, and a few others seem like they want to win whatever they can whenever they can and that is simply not a mentality all organizations have.

This was a great game. You could tell by every tackle. The ref let them play, and although that meant some things went unpunished and pissed off the Seattle fans, I think it was the right reffing approach to a match like this. The bonus money for winning is a nice prize for these guys and that ups the intensity ante quite a bit.