Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sounders Win 3rd Straight U.S. Open Cup

Fredy Montero knocked home a rebound in the 77th minute of last night's U.S. Open Cup Final and Osvaldo Alonso scored an insurance goal late in stoppage time as the Seattle Sounders defeated the Chicago Fire 2-0 to bring home their 3rd consecutive Open Cup Championship. In doing so, the Sounders became the first club in the MLS era to win three Open Cup championships in a row as no other MLS team has even won two straight. The last team to win three Cups in a row was Greek American Atlas Astoria (also known as New York Greek American) who accomplished the feat between 1967 and 1969. What this means for the Sounders is a 3rd straight trip to the CONCACAF Champions League where they currently sit atop Group D having already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals of this year's tournament.
Photo Credit:
Had the Fire managed to win, they would've tied Bethlehem Steel (Bethlehem, PA) and Maccabi Los Angeles as the only teams to have won 5 U.S. Open Cups. Here's a list of how MLS clubs have fared all time in the Open Cup Final.
Graphic Courtesy:
You'll notice only once since the inaugural season of MLS (1996) that an MLS club didn't win the title. That came in 1999 when Marcelo Balboa and the Colorado Rapids came up short against the Rochester Raging Rhinos of the A-League. The Rhinos made an improbable run to the Finals knocking off the Chicago Fire, Dallas Burn and Columbus Crew before winning the title game against Colorado 2-0. You might recognize Rochester goalkeeper Pat Onstad as he'd go on to play over 200 MLS matches for the San Jose/Houston Dynamo franchise. He actually retired prior to the 2011 season and joined the D.C. United coaching staff before the 2011 season, but due to injuries he came out of retirement to play 3 games in goal for United this season. He has since returned to his coaching duties.

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