Sounders FC's Cup on line vs. L.A. Galaxy on Wednesday
Reeling Seattle faces MLS's best team in U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal in Tukwila.
Seattle Times staff reporter
L.A. Galaxy @ Seattle Sounders FC, 7 p.m.
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TUKWILA — In its run to the U.S. Open Cup championship last season, Sounders FC took pride in its depth.
Certainly the non-MLS games — like Wednesday's Open Cup quarterfinal against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Starfire Sports Complex — provide Seattle's bench players with a chance to shine. But Sounders reserves have been called into action several times already in this injury-plagued season, and they haven't made much of an impact.
"Having four starters and various other role players out has challenged our starting lineup and our depth," said general manager Adrian Hanauer. "Now some of the guys who maybe aren't quite ready are thrown into the lineup.
"The starters that are left haven't necessarily stepped up, and the reserves haven't stepped up. It's obvious that we haven't played well enough. No one has. And we haven't coached well enough, we haven't taken care of guys physically well enough, we haven't general-managed well enough. There's plenty of culpability to go around."
The Sounders hope a reserve-filled lineup Wednesday will inject some life to a team spiraling downward in the league season. Not only will a win keep hopes alive for a repeat in the U.S. Open Cup, but it would also help ease the psychological strain of losing.
"At this point I think every game is important, not just for the result but for our mentality," said forward Roger Levesque. "It gives us a chance to come out here and work on getting it right and building momentum for the rest of the season."
Motivation might also come from playing a familiar opponent. Seattle has lost twice this season to the Galaxy by a combined six goals, including a 3-1 defeat three days ago in Southern California. The drive to see more playing time will also come into effect.
"It's tough every day going to practice and not being able to play," said rookie midfielder Michael Seamon. "So this is something big for us, the guys that don't play as much, the reserves and bench players. This is a chance to for us to show our pride in our team and our pride in ourselves, and go out there and win some games."
And with potential roster changes just around the corner, it might be a last chance for some.
• The Starfire Sports Complex soccer stadium recently installed new FieldTurf, replacing a much-maligned older version.
• If the Sounders beat L.A. they will host an Open Cup semifinal vs. Chivas USA on Sept. 1 at Starfire.
• Defender Taylor Graham is suspended for the match after receiving a red card against Portland in the last round, which the Sounders FC won via penalty shootout.
• Wednesday's game is sold out, but a live videocast of the game will be available on the team's website.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.