Sounders roll past Cal FC, 5-0, in U.S. Open Cup play | Soccer
Seattle breaks deadlock in 50th minute on a penalty kick by Osvaldo Alonso.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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TUKWILA — The fairy tale lasted another half, but not much longer.
Cal FC, the beloved U.S. Open Cup Cinderella, held tough with the three-time defending champion Sounders FC for 45 minutes in a fourth-round game. But heavily favored Seattle eventually wore down the overmatched amateur team and cruised to a 5-0 win Tuesday in front of 3,894 at Starfire Stadium.
The Sounders improved to 15-0-1 in Open Cup-related games and advanced to the quarterfinals, where they're scheduled to play on the road June 26 at the San Jose Earthquakes.
How special had Cal FC's run been? FOX Soccer — albeit, the employer of the team's coach, Eric Wynalda — decided to broadcast the game nationally.
For the Sounders, that became motivation.
"I told our guys before the game: 'The TVs (are) here not for you. They're here for them. So we need to show them that we have a team, too,' " said coach Sigi Schmid, whose side outshot the visitors 28-4.
After a scoreless first half, Seattle broke the deadlock in the 50th minute when Osvaldo Alonso calmly converted a penalty kick. Forward Fredy Montero, voted MVP of last year's Open Cup, earned the chance when his shot a minute earlier was blocked by the hand of Cal FC's Jesus Gonzalez.
"We knew once we got one, that other ones would come," said defender Zach Scott, who served as team captain.
The goals didn't just come. They poured in.
Montero doubled the lead in the 58th minute, finishing a pinpoint cross from the right side by midfielder Cordell Cato, and the Sounders later added three more goals in a five-minute span.
The burst started when rookie Andy Rose redirected a header — perhaps unintentionally, he admitted — from midfielder Alex Caskey past Cal FC goalkeeper Derby Carrillo in the 66th minute.
Montero made it 4-0, somewhat controversially, with a free kick in the 68th minute that bounced untouched past a distracted Carrillo. The refs conferred after the goal to discuss whether Sammy Ochoa, who was in an offside position, had influenced the play enough to negate the goal.
After what Montero called "the longest decision ever," the goal was allowed to stand.
"I think the referee made a good call," said a smiling Montero, who has scored in his last four Open Cup games and has seven goals all-time in the tournament (tied with ex-Sounder Nate Jaqua for the team lead).
Alonso capped the flurry with a crowd-pleasing scorcher from 35 yards that sailed over an outstretched Carrillo and dipped under the crossbar in the 70th minute.
Asked if that goal, his fourth in the past three Open Cup games, was the best he's ever scored, Alonso's smile lasted longer than his answer.
"Yep," he said with a wide grin.
"Even I stood up and applauded it," Wynalda said. "It was probably one of the best goals I've seen in a while."
And so Cal FC's dream run ended. But the Sounders weren't bothered if they're the bad guys if the rags-to-riches story becomes a movie.
"I'll do that every single week," said Scott.
• Sounders FC doesn't play again until a June 16 MLS road game against expansion Montreal.
• Cal FC will split a $10,000 prize with Michigan Bucks for being the amateur teams that advanced furthest in the Open Cup.
• Three Cal FC players — Carrillo, Barrera and Gonzalez — have had tryouts with the Sounders the past couple years.
• At one point the crowd chanted "This ain't Portland!", a reference to the rival Timbers' upset loss last week to Cal FC.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.