Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published August 12, 2014 at 5:25 PM | Page modified August 12, 2014 at 9:19 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments
  • Print

Sounders head into U.S. Open Cup semifinal with options, but complications as well

Seattle getting back toward a full roster, but will be facing a key MLS match this weekend after meeting Chicago on Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup.


Seattle Times staff reporter

Get Adobe Flash player

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
@DuffeemanKirkland but we don't "need" to win at RSL. Even with a loss, the Sounders are still in good shape. With a... MORE
Good luck to the Sounders in all their upcoming games. MORE
@DuffeemanKirkland "Fun" is playing in the Champions League, which the US Open Cup winner gets to do. Many people... MORE

advertising

In one sense, Seattle’s U.S. Open Cup semifinal match against the Chicago Fire at Starfire Sports Complex on Wednesday night is straightforward.

“If you win, you’re in. If you lose, you’re out,” Sounders midfielder Gonzalo Pineda said.

One side will burnish its U.S. Open Cup history — Chicago has won a record four titles, Seattle is in a tie for second with three — the other will trip on the penultimate hurdle.

Still, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

The backlog of games being crammed into August will force Chicago to fly nearly 5,000 miles this week, with trips to Seattle, to Montreal for an MLS game and then back home.

Seattle, meanwhile, is in the midst of five matches in a two-week span. Waiting on the other side of the semifinal Wednesday is a visit to Salt Lake City to play Real Salt Lake, the second-place team in the MLS Western Conference.

For the Sounders, increased depth will help with most of their all-stars fully integrated back into the team and an injury report getting shorter by the day.

“It’s good to have options, that there’s different solutions to a problem,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “You can evaluate it and pick the best solution instead of just picking the solution you have to pick because the options are eliminated.”

Yet even those options come with complications.

Attacker Lamar Neagle, who had missed the San Jose defeat with a hamstring injury, played 68 minutes of Seattle’s 1-0 victory over Houston on Sunday night. Chad Marshall, after car-accident-induced back spasms, played the full 90, as did Djimi Traore in his first league appearance since May.

“Some guys, coming off injury, it isn’t the best,” Schmid said. “You don’t know if they’re 90-minutes-game fit or how much they can bring.

“You also have to go into games without four or five guys that can’t get through 90 minutes — or in an Open Cup game, possibly 120.”

DeAndre Yedlin’s status for Wednesday is as muddied as his potential transfer move, though “our expectation is that he’ll start,” Schmid said Tuesday.

Obafemi Martins, who is suspended for the match Saturday after picking up a pair of yellow cards against Houston, likely will slot in up top.

Keeping the midfield fresh is a priority, but so is allowing it to keep rebuilding chemistry in the wake of its subpar performance in the team’s 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy a few weeks ago.

“We tried to move on and get better every day,” Pineda said. “I think the last two games, we did good in that area. The last game was a good match for us.”

Decisions, decisions — all of which will have to be considered anew ahead of the weekend showdown between the top teams in the West.

Any thoughts on the possible lineup against RSL, coach?

“Right now, I couldn’t even give you a wild guess,” Schmid said.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

Also in Sports

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

The Seattle Times Historical Archives

Browse our newspaper page archives from 1900-1984


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►