T-120 minutes to kickoff: It's a straightforward thing with these Cup matches: win, and your run continues. Lose, and you will be mulling on what could have been.
That's the situation facing the Los Angeles Galaxy as they look to dethrone the Seattle Sounders at the old stomping grounds of the Sounders, the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington.
T-110: There is no doubt that the Galaxy have taken this season series, but Bruce Arena would love to make the sweep complete at Seattle's back yard. The depth of Los Angeles will need to be counted on. Look for Juninho to make his presence felt once again.
T-100: What's a bigger incentive for the Galaxy is that they get a shot at renewing the Honda SuperClasico against Chivas USA if they dispose of the Sounders, who are going through a difficult year. This team may not even come close to making the playoffs. They are out of their league, sinking fast, and it will not be a surprise if the poor form shows up tonight.
T-90: Don't tell that to the Emerald City Supporters, though. They have hope that they can still keep their U.S. Open Cup defense alive against what should be another reserve side for Bruce Almighty, Dave Sarachan, Cobi Jones and the staff.
T-80: In other U.S. Open Cup action, Chivas USA blasted the Houston Dynamo 3-1, and USL Second Division side Charleston Battery said adios as the Columbus Crew saw them off 3-0.
T-70: Pitch here at Starfire is tighter, similar to the dimensions at Houston's Robertson Stadium. Stretching the Galaxy defense will prove critical to the Sounders' chances.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Manager: Bruce Arena
Colors: White tops with blue trim, white shorts, white socks
12 Josh Saunders
20 A.J. De La Garza ---- 4 Omar Gonzalez ---- 22 Leonardo ---- 6 Eddie Lewis
7 Chris Klein (C) ---- 9 Jovan Kirovski ---- 84 Clint Mathis ---- 27 Bryan Jordan
---- 88 Alex Cazumba
21 Alan Gordon
1 Donovan Ricketts GK
2 Todd Dunivant DEF
28 Sean Franklin DEF
8 Dema Kovalenko MID
19 Juninho MID
26 Michael Stephens MID
17 Tristan Bowen FWD
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Manager: Sigi Schmid
Colors: Electric yellow tops, electric yellow shorts, electric green socks
28 Terry Boss
20 Zach Scott --- 31 Jeff Parke ---- 4 Patrick Ianni ---- 5 Grant Wahl
23 Sanna Nyassi ---- 22 Mike Seamon ---- 12 Nathan Sturgis ---- 32 Miguel
24 Roger Levesque ---- 21 Nate Jaqua (C)
18 Kasey Keller GK
14 Tyrone Marshall DEF
19 Leo Gonzalez DEF
10 Steve Zakuani MID
7 James Riley FWD
16 David Estrada FWD
17 Fredy Montero FWD
25 Pat Noonan FWD
30' - A sensational turnout here today, 30 minutes to kickoff. Will home field advantage drive the Sounders through? Or will the Galaxy complete the sweep?
15' - I really dig these camera angles. Flags and chants from the Emerald City Supporters out in full force.
T-0: The Sound Wave, the Sounders marching band, with our National Anthem.
FIRST HALF START: 7:15 P.M. PT
1' - And this quarterfinal in the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is underway, from Tukwila. What a nice-sounding name.
Sounding, Sounders...fits the team well. Throw-in Seattle. Some early dispossession in order for the Sounders.
2' - Corner for the Sounders on the right side. Alan Gordon deflects. Another corner.
3' - Eddie Lewis clears. Here comes Alex Cazumba. Dispossessed by Mike Seamon. Josh Saunders picks that up.
4' - Here's a corner for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Let's see what Clint Mathis does. It's another corner.
5' - Seattle playing some tenacious defense early. The defending US Open Cup champs, biding their time. Cleared by Patrick Ianni. Here comes Seattle. A.J. De La Garza gives chase.
6' - Goal kick, Josh Saunders. The crowd of 5,000 howls in disapproval. Jair Marrufo is our match official today.
7' - Bryan Jordan clears, and back come the Sounders. Throw-in for Seattle. Here's Jaqua. Eddie Lewis clears that one. Here's trouble for the Sounders.
8' - That ball is deflected for a corner. The ECS awaits the set piece. Out of play. Goal kick, Saunders. Good pace for the Sounders, giving the G-fense some looks. Marrufo warns the young Colombian Miguel Montano to stay on his feet.
9' - Roger Levesque dispossesses, and the G's are forced to reset.
10' - Back come the Sounders. Goal kick for the Galaxy. We have some up and down action here.
11' - Another throw-in for Seattle. THis is a 68-yard wide pitch. Those two yards less of space may prove to be the difference for the road side, we'll just have to wait and see. Goal kick, Saunders.
12' - Throw-in for the Galaxy. Terry Boss, the goalkeeper for Seattle, takes that. A possession struggle early on.
13' - Nothing too special from the G-fense so far (my new phrase for the Galaxy defense). You try to give some looks against this back line; they'd better be creative.
14' - Seattle is getting a good deal of the possession this game. Too ambitious a shot from Klein. Unoriginal look.
15' - Fifteen minutes into the contest and it's scoreless. How about that earthquake down in the Borrego Valley? Oy vey!
16' - Boss to take, and here come the Sounders again. Omar Gonzalez lets that go for a goal kick to Saunders.
17' - Pressure by Jaqua, but the Galaxy remain composed and regroup.
18' - So far, the adjustments to playing on this surface haven't resulted in any goals yet, but that may change. It's scoreless. Shot by A.J. De La Garza over the crossbar. Goal kick, Boss.
19' - A few throw-ins on the way for the Seattle. LA counters. This is Bryan Gordon. Wide shot from Alan Gordon. Klein had a better look. Best chance so far for the road side. Goal kick, Terry Boss.
20' - Here's Zac Scott for the Seattle Sounders. Corner on the way. This is Nate Sturgis.
21' - Cleared out, but here comes Seattle. Eddie Lewis clears that chance. Ooooh, Jaqua with the overhead. Too high, too strong, goal kick.
22' - Seattle now on the counter. They are intest to milk that home field advantage, the Sounders do. Jordan butchered that first touch.
23' - Great save by Josh Saunders. Point blank. Good challenge attempt by Alan Gordon, but it's a throw for Seattle.
24' - What was Mike Seamon doing on that one, pray tell? Some good passing here from the Galaxy, but back comes Seattle.
25' - Tyson Wahl didn't do well on that cross. The Galaxy slow the pace a little. This is Jovan Kirovski. The ball movement is good, but Seattle is there to snuff it out. Gordon is offsides.
26' - Bryan Jordan wasn't connecting on the feed from Chris Klein. Back come Seattle. Nothing doing.
27' - Here come the Galaxy, and there is a bit of a collision. Alex Cazumba is fouled, to the dismay of the crowd. Set piece Galaxy, and Ianni is shaken up.
28' - Patrick Ianni rises to his feet, but he got quite a knock. 30-yard set piece for the Galaxy here. Way high a shot from Mathis. What a butcher.
29' - Goal kick, Terry Boss, and we are still scoreless deep into the first half. Some footjuggling from Saunders, and he snaps that one up.
30' - End-to-end action, and Boss grabs that one. No long balls please, they are a bore.
Here come the Sounders, and ROger Levesque is offsides as De La Garza clears.
31' - What is with the long ball obsession today? Can't both side do some short passing for once? Throw-in LA.
32' - Back come the Galaxy, and Tyson Wahl outmuscles A.J. De La Garza there for a Seattle throw.
33' - Klein with the harsh challenge on Montano. Sturgis with the free kick. Wide right. Goal kick, Saunders.
34' - De La Garza clears that sequence for the Sounders.
35' - Good stuff from Nathan Sturgis. Here is Sanna Nyassi. Now it's Wahl. An excellent sequence from Seattle. Zac Scott missed the frame by five yards.
36' - Goal kick, Saunders. Not enough real estate, throw-in Sounders.
37' - This long ball obssession is gagging me...as well as the foul on Mike Seamon by Jovan Kirovski.
38' - THat long cross didn't amount to much. Seattle tries to switch the point of attack, but it's not working for them.
39' - Saunders smothers that ball. Back come the Galaxy. Wide shot by Alex Cazumba. Too hard an angle to fire. Gonzalez with the clearance. Clint Mathis blows that one off the woodwork.
40' - Nice work by the Galaxy to get some touches. Cazumba needs to brush up on his first touch. Gordon's offsides. Doesn't look like the reserves are doing much to open up the scoring...
41' - 41 minutes in, and it's still scoreless. Nate Jaqua with the hard foul, free kick.
42' - Terry Boss will take that one. Seattle with the quick restart and here they come. Gonzalez marks.
43' - Leonardo (I called his name for the first time) clears that out of trouble. How about that. Whew!
44' - LA on the counter, and Seattle clears. Too long a ball for Levesque. Saunders takes. The fans looking for an obstruction on Omar Gonzales; won't work.
45' - The Galaxy look to press for a late goal this half. But it may be a scoreless first half with this reserve side. Time for some subs and shaking up.
Yellow card 88 Alex Cazumba
Los Angeles Galaxy
Not a smart foul. That will draw the wrath of the official every time.
46'+ - From this point, I will use this to refer to any stoppage time minutes. Clint Mathis's shot blocked by Jeff Parke.
Halftime here at Starfire, and it's scoreless.
Los Angeles Galaxy 0
Seattle Sounders FC 0
SECOND HALF START: 8:17 P.M. PT
46' - The second half of this match in regulation begins. Let us see what unfolds. Goal kick for Saunders. Boy, has he been busy today.
47' - Some early scrambles here for both sides.
48' - Too high a shot by Ianni. Speculative.
49' - Good defense by Sturgis. And Sanna Nyassi is offsides. Goal kick, Saunders.
50' - Jovan Kirovski's cross is deflect for the G's fourth corner of the match. Left-footer from Eddie Lewis on the way. Not enough mustard on that shot by Cazumba.
51' - Here Nyassi, and here come the Sounders.
GOAL! Seattle Sounders FC 21 Nate Jaqua
That was a poor effort defensively by the Galaxy. They were not set on that stanza, and they paid the price. Good attempt by Miguel Montano to get on the board, but well done by Jaqua on the follow through.
52' - The match will open up now, and the pace now accelerates.
53' - Seattle will look to take control of this match, and they mix it up with a set of offensive looks.
54' - Corner for Seattle. Sturgis to take. Wide shot, and that will be a goal kick for Saunders.
55' - I am having some issues with this keyboard. Gotta reel this thing back in.
56' - Makes you wonder if this reserve side really was ready for this match. Doesn't look like it.
57' - Jeff Parke cannot get to that ball. Goal kick, Saunders. Bad pass by Bryan Jordan. Sanna Nyassi is offsides.
58' - This Galaxy reserve team is coming unglued. Still waiting for the substitutions.
59' - We are 59 into the match and it is 1-0 Seattle thanks to the goal by Nate Jaqua inside the penalty box in the 51st minute.
60' - Seattle is not looking like a team near the bottom of the standings here.
61' - Goal kick for Terry Boss.
62' - Here comes Seattle again. This is the type of speed we haven't see from them the past two meetings. Where has this been, dear SOunders?
63' - Great defense from the Sounders. Here comes Sanna Nyassi.
GOAL! Seattle Sounders 21 Nate Jaqua
It is now 2-0 Seattle, and this is how the Galaxy will lose their matches. Horrid performance from the team today.
64' - This is not looking like the Galaxy's day today.
67' - Can the Galaxy rally from this deficit? This has not been their night.
68' - Here comes Seattle. Jaqua was looking for the hat trick.
69' - It's 2-0 Seattle, and the Galaxy will be looking for answers when this night is over.
70' - If I am Arena, I am considering making some subs now.
Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 8 Dema Kovalenko
OUT 7 Chris Klein
Yellow Card 27 Bryan Jordan
Los Angeles Galaxy
71' - Alan Gordon with a horrid shot. What is going on here with Los Angeles? They are playing like a side that may not even get the Supporters Shield.
Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
28 Sean Franklin
9 Jovan Kirovski
Substitution Seattle Sounders FC
IN 19 Leo Gonzalez
OUT 32 Miguel Montano
73' - Nate Jaqua has manhandled this LA Galaxy reserve side, who shouldn't even be showing up for this contest. This has been a disgraceful effort for Los Angeles. Here's Zac Scott.
74' - Gordon butchered the timing on that cross.
75' - 75 minutes in, and it's Seattle 2-0.
76' - Jaqua was trying to get his hat trick, and that ball instead found Saunders.
77' - Some of the passing here is speculative. Without their main men, the Galaxy have proven to be an unstuck bunch, and it showed tonight.
78' - Seattle dispossesses, and Saunders clears off his line.
Substitution Seattle Sounders FC
IN 7 James Riley
OUT 22 Mike Seamon
79' - Last 10 minutes of regulation, and it's still Seattle 2-0.
80' - From the body language on these players, I believe they can't wait for the match against New England.
83' - Is there any sense of urgency from these players? Here's Dema Kovalenko, trying to light a fire underneath the carpet.
84' - Substitution Seattle Sounders FC
IN 16 David Estrada
OUT 22 Nate Jaqua
85' - David Estrada is a player of the future for Seattle. Watch out for more of him. This is just garbage time for the Electric Green.
86' - Speculative one-time shot from Omar Gonzalez. Taken by Boss. This is a sign of how things have been.
87' - Great tackle by David Estrada.
88' - Only a few more minutes to go until Seattle defense continues for at least one more round.
89' - THe Galaxy are essentially a team of mummies now. There is no excuse for this type of performance when Champions League and the rest of the MLS season.
Yellow card 16 David Estrada
Seattle Sounders FC
Yellow card 21 Alan Gordon
Los Angeles Galaxy
Match is now getting a little bit out of hand here.
90' - How many minute of stoppage time, Mr. Jair Marrufo? Two, says the fourth official. These should go rather quickly.
92'+ - And the Sounders move on to face Chivas back at Tukwila, while the Galaxy will be looking for answers when they face the New England Revolution.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY 0
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 2
Nate Jaqua 51', 63'
Stay tuned for my take on the match and the ins and outs on The View and Bleacher Report. Whatever fits your fancy.