By John Zielonka
Tukwila, WA -- Seattle Sounders FC defeated the Chicago Fire 6-0 to move on to the U.S. Open Cup finals in front of 4, 361 fans at the Starfire Stadium in suburban Seattle. Midfielder Andy Rose and Kenny Cooper recorded braces for the Sounders. Chad Barrett's first half goal and a late goal from Obafemi Martins accounted for the other Seattle tallies.
The Sounders will travel to Philadelphia to face the Union in an attempt to secure their fourth U.S. Open Cup trophy. The final date for the matchup is still to be determined, but likely to be between Sept. 30-Oct. 1 timeframe.
Cooper made a deep run into Chicago territory six minutes into the match. The Seattle forward made two moves inside the box before sending a left-footed cross to an open Chad Barrett. With no one between him and goalkeeper Sean Johnson, Barrett redirected the ball into the back of the net to give Seattle a 1-0 lead. The tally was Barrett's fifth goal in all competitions.
Chicago's Quincy Amarikwa made a deke in the 17th minute inside the Seattle box that sent defender Jalil Anibaba down to the turf. Amarikwa sent a rocket to the right post. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei dove to his right and extended his hand to send the ball wide of the goal.
Four minutes later, Chicago captain Jeff Larentowicz nailed a strike 10 yards outside the 18-yard box. His shot sailed past the Sounders' wall. Frei made the initial stop with Amarikwa on his doorstep ready to pounce on the rebound. The Seattle keeper recovered to prevent another Fire scoring opportunity.
Midfielder Andy Rose doubled Seattle's lead in the 33rd minute. Pappa's out swinger corner kick found Rose open. He headed the ball inside the left post for his first goal of the year and a 2-0 Seattle advantage.
The Pappa and Rose combination struck again in the second half of play. Pappa's corner kick initially missed the mark. He ended up at his feet outside the box. The Guatemalan midfielder's cross to the far post again found Rose unmarked. His header sailed past Johnson to give the home side a 3-0 edge It gave Rose's his second goal of the night and season.
Johnson came up big twice on Cooper in the 64th minute. The Chicago keeper made two big saves on the lanky forward to prevent a fourth Seattle score.
The Sounders struck in the 83rd and 84th minute with tallies from Martins and Cooper. The first goal started with a slick back heel pass from Cooper to Martins. He outran two Chicago defenders inside the penalty area before scoring Seattle's fifth goal of the night and his ninth strike of the year.
Defender DeAndre Yedlin, Tottenham's newest signing, hit a cross to Cooper to the far post a minute later. The Sounders' striker found the back of the net to extend the Sounders' lead to 6-0. Besides his two goals, Cooper also received credit for two assists. He now has eight goals and six assists in all competitions.
Frei recorded his second shutout in two matches and eighth overall.