The Seattle Sounders will play for their fourth U.S. Open Cup title in club history — and their fourth in six seasons — when it takes on the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday at PPL Park.
Last time out: Sounders 2, Union 1 on May 3, 2014, at CenturyLink Field — Chad Marshall nodded home the game-winning goal in the 84th minute as Seattle won its fourth straight match.
Battle to watch: Control of the midfield
Seattle’s midfield tandem of Osvaldo Alonso and Gonzalo Pineda has gotten stronger and stronger as the year progressed, while Philadelphia also has a standout in the middle in designated player Cristian Maidana.
Setting the tone early on will be important in a match of high stakes and emotions — the Union and its interim coach Jim Curtin touched multiple times in yesterday’s press conference on the importance of winning the club’s first trophy.
“I’ve been through the highs and lows, the emotions of being a Philly sports fan,” Curtin said.
Player to watch: Union forward Sebastien Le Toux
Le Toux has Sounders ties, of course, having won USL-MVP while the club was still in the minor leagues and helping it win the 2009 Open Cup after Seattle got the Major League Soccer call-up.
He has scored more U.S. Open Cup goals, 14, than any other player in the MLS era — one more than Seattle striker Kenny Cooper, whose six goals are the most in this year’s edition.
“I want him to score two goals and we win 3-2,” Le Toux said yesterday.
Le Toux could also prove a valuable weapon should Tuesday’s match go to penalty kicks: He is 12-for-12 from the spot in his Union career.
How to watch: This answer is less straightforward than usual. GolTV owns the rights to the final but isn’t found on every cable subscriber — and while Comcast picked up the feed in the greater Philadelphia area, there’s been no such luck for Seattle. As an alternative, fans can purchase a one-month online GolTV subscription at the cost of $8.95 for an online feed or hit up one of the match watches scattered around the city.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PST.