Top goal scorers have a short memory.
“Those guys all have amnesia — the good ones do,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “They can’t remember (the misses). They’re on to the next play.”
10 minutes into Tuesday night’s U.S. Open Cup final at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., Andy Rose played in a low cross that dribbled across the Union box and landed at the feet of Sounders forward Clint Dempsey. Dempsey was all alone at point-blank range, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.
A full 90-minutes-and-change later, Dempsey charged onto Obafami Martins’ cross and fired a shot into the low corner of the net for the game-winning goal of Seattle’s 3-1, extra-time triumph.
The more important cases of memory loss came on the opposite end of the field. Because for most of the first half, Philadelphia gave the Sounders defense fits.
Maurice Edu beat Zach Scott to Cristian Maidana’s free kick to open the scoring with a 38th-minute header.
But Scott played on, even waving off a stretcher when he went down with an injury scare in the waning moments of normal time. And in the 85th minute, he was the one who slid in to block Sebastien Le Toux’s shot wide when the Union man looked to have a clear look at goal.
“Zach Scott is a stalwart,” Sounders midfielder Brad Evans said. “He likes playing injured. He likes to get hurt. He likes to put himself on the brink of some sort of collapse. He loves that. He relishes these opportunities.”
DeAndre Yedlin was targeted throughout the first half by Union attacker Andrew Wenger. The young Philadelphia attacker went right at Yedlin on the wing, setting up a string of promising scoring chances. But Wenger was mostly held down after the break.
Yedlin’s night — the performance of the Sounders back line — was summed up in a single second-half Union counterattack.
A Sounders corner was cleared out toward midfield, and in trying to send the ball back into the box, Yedlin whiffed. Philadelphia pounced on the mistake, and with a flick past another Seattle defender, Maidana put himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
Yedlin was ten yards back when Maidana crossed the midfield stripe, but the right back put his head down and went into a full sprint.
Maidana closed in on Frei, wound up to fire a potentially go-ahead strike.
Yedlin caught him on the edge of the box and smothered the chance.
In their own words: “I mean I was all ready to celebrate. I really thought it was going in and it ends up hitting the post. We had so many opportunities. There was a good save by the goalkeeper. I don’t know, nothing really went our way tonight, especially in the second half. That’s what it takes if you want to win the final. We didn’t get it tonight” — Union midfielder Sebastien Le Toux, on Vincent Nogueira’s near-miss in second-half stoppage time.
By the numbers: 25-17. The Union outshot the Sounders while also topping them in shots on goal (10-7) and corner kicks (12-7).
Up next: Sounders at New York Red Bulls, Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.