TUKWILA, Wash. – Wednesday night was a depth test. The Seattle Sounders passed it with flying colors.
The Rave Green put in a dominant effort in their 6-0 US Open Cup semifinal match victory against the Chicago Fire, and they didn’t even need all of their regular starters to do it. They crushed an overmatched Chicago squad despite an unorthodox starting line-up that didn’t include Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Gonzalo Pineda or Chad Marshall.
“Sometimes when it rains, it pours,” Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters after the game.
Of Seattle’s six goals, the only one by a Seattle player that has been a mainstay in the team’s regular starting line-up came from Martins, and he only got his after coming off the bench in the 74th minute. Dempsey took the night off for Seattle to conserve energy for the team’s upcoming MLS match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
Kenny Cooper and Chad Barrett, both of whom are generally used as substitutes for the Sounders, combined for three goals, while Cooper added two assists. Cooper now has 13 career goals in US Open Cup play.
“I thought the team looked determined throughout the whole game,” Cooper said. “Whether we were up two goals or three, just never stopped, just kept going at them. It was a fun one to be a part of.”
Andy Rose, who was making his return from a torn meniscus after a lengthy absence, also scored two goals for the Sounders in what was surely a refreshing sight for Schmid.
“It was great,” Schmid said of Rose’s return performance. “He’s been held back a little bit with injuries and trying to get his fitness back. Andy gives you something because when he can come forward, he’s dangerous on set pieces like he is and I also thought he played some good balls in… It’s nice to have him back in the mix.”
“It was nice to come back and contribute to a big win,” Rose said. “I’ve felt really good that last 2-3 weeks so I knew if I kept on doing that a chance would come and obviously to take advantage of it feels great.”
Even with the two goals, Rose was arguably Seattle’s second-most notable returning face. Defender DeAndre Yedlin started and played the whole game for Seattle after missing the team’s previous match against the Houston Dynamo.
Yedlin has gained international attention in recent weeks leading up to Wednesday’s announcement that the Sounders had agreed to transfer him to Tottenham Hotspur after the MLS season.
“I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing,” Yedlin said after the game. “My work ethic is not going to go down…My main goal is to win an MLS cup here and obviously a US Open Cup and we got a step closer today.”