The 101st edition of the 2014 Lamar Hunt Open Cup ends Tuesday night in Chester, Pa. Here is why the Seattle Sounders will win the trophy over the Philadelphia Union.
Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey
When these two are on the pitch together, they give defenses fits all night. Martins is always looking for the right run to make between the center backs and will tire out the defense over the course of 90 minutes. Dempsey as well as Martins is a magician with the ball at his feet. The work extremely well together as seen in the video below. Fast forward to 3:43 and you will see exactly what I am talking about on the Sounders second goal of the match last Friday night against Real Salt Lake.
Chad Marshall has been a big addition to the Sounders this year and should be a candidate for MLS Defender of the Year as I wrote here. Sounders supporters have been calling him “Air Marshall” all year as he is a beast in the air and wins a majority of headers in his area. He is also dangerous on set pieces in attacking third when he comes forward for those pieces. Also he scored against the Union when the two teams met early in May.
Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid as won just about very award there is to win in MLS. He has over 200 career wins as head coach. He has won multiple MLSCups as well as multiple US Open Cups. Union Head Coach Jim Curtin mentioned in Monday’s press conference about Schmid’s pedigree and how he would hope to be able to have as successful of a career has he has.
Seattle has a rich history in the US Open Cup. This being their sixth year in MLS play and this will be there fifth final in those six years. They played in four straight finals before being knocked out in the first round last year. This will also be the third time they have played in the final in a hostile environment. They are currently 1-1 on the road as they lost the 2012 final to Sporting KC in penalties and won the final against DC United at RFK Stadium for their first of three straight US Open Cup Finals.
In closing this will not be an easy match for Seattle as the Union are a tough defensive team and can hurt Seattle on the counter if they are not careful. I know I mentioned in my US Open Cup preview that I feel this match will go to penalties and you never know how that will end.
Even if it goes to penalties, Seattle will win with the experience and talent that the Sounders have and the 300+ traveling Sounders supporters will be partying into the early hours of Wednesday morning.