TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders are headed to the US Open Cup finals in a big way.
Chad Barrett and Obafemi Martins had a goal apiece, Kenny Cooper and Andy Rose had two of their own, and the Sounders cruised to an epic 6-0 semifinal blowout of the Chicago Fire at Starfire Soccer Complex.
Seattle jumped on the scoreboard early, taking the lead in just the 6th minute after Cooper found himself with a breakaway attempt up the right side off a flick pass by Rose. Cooper then crossed the ball into the Chicago box to a wide-open Barrett, who tapped the ball into the net to give the Sounders the early lead.
Chicago had a chance to equalize in the 17th minute off a shot from inside the Seattle box from star rookie Harry Shipp. But Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who was solid for the Sounders all night, managed to deflect the shot with a diving save and Seattle maintained its advantage. The inability to equalize would come to haunt Chicago, as the Sounders used the momentum to begin what turned into an onslaught of opportunities against Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson.
The Sounders extended the lead in the 34th minute after Rose found himself open in the box off a corner kick, managing to zip a header past the near post to give Seattle a 2-0 first-half cushion.
Chicago’s fate was all-but sealed in the 58th minute after Rose once again up found himself unmarked in the penalty box, managing to head in a pinpoint cross from Seattle midfielder Marco Pappa to give Seattle a commanding three-goal cushion.
Seattle poured it on late, getting three insurance goals in the waning minutes. Martins tallied one on a breakaway attempt in the 79th minute, while Cooper scored both of his in a three-minute span after that, sealing what was a dominant night for Seattle from start to finish.
With the victory, Seattle advances to the USOC finals to take on the Philadelphia Union, who defeated FC Dallas 4-3 on penalty kicks on Tuesday.