The Seattle Sounders FC couldn't have figured out a better time to get their act together, defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 on June 26.
With the win, the Sounders' goal of becoming the first team to win four consecutive US Open Cup titles remains a reality, and they're now two games away from completing their quest. They'll face Chivas USA in the semifinals of the tournament on July 10.
"It was an important win," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters after the game. "We overcame a lot of things today and that can help a team. Obstacles are there, but obstacles are there to be overcome and we can overcome those obstacles."
The Sounders struck first in the 19th minute of the match, thanks to 19 year-old Cordell Cato, who coolly fired one between San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham's legs for his first MLS goal.
"The last couple games it was difficult because we always had to fight from the back," Cato said. "With that goal, it brought confidence to not only me, but the whole team and we were able to push forward as a whole team."
The Sounders had a few more chances during the course of the game, but Bingham refused to concede a second goal.
Seattle's defense certainly deserves a lot of credit for the victory, shutting down the number one team in the MLS Western Conference. Sounders goalkeeper Andrew Weber stepped up his game during the final minutes of the match, preventing the Earthquakes from equalizing on a few close calls.
Besides positioning the Sounders two wins away from their fourth straight US Open Cup title, their victory will serve as a morale boost, given their recent struggles. However, their win was mired in controversy, as a melee involving Eddie Johnson broke out right after the match.
The Sounders will now get a few days to enjoy their victory, before heading out to face the New England Revolution on June 30.
SoundersFC.com, "Sounders keep USOC hopes alive"
Player and game information from ESPN.com
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