Fredy Montero and Roger Levesque scored late on to give the visiting Seattle Sounders FC their first domestic trophy on their first attempt, via a 2-1 win over D.C. United last night before 17,329 disappointed fans at RFK Stadium. While the “WeWinTrophies.com” sales pitch did wonders in getting a US Open Cup record crowd into RFK, the soccer from the home side definitely let down the occasion. Josh Wicks was sent off after he stomped on the arm of Montero just seconds after he scored the opening goal in the 67th minute. Wicks, who was easily the player of the match to that point with a number of stunning one-v-one saves in the first half alone, was incensed at his sending off though television replays clearly showed a pure lack of class on the goalkeepers part.
Up to this point in the match thought it was the visitors who had bossed most of the games scoring opportunities. United only had a few chances that even bothered Kasey Keller and got nothing of danger inside the penalty area as the Black and Red were forced to unleash long range chances on goal. That all changed in the 67th minute when Freddie Ljunberg was sent in by Montero and his stabbed toe-poke was well saved from Wicks only to see the rebound fall right into the path of the Colombian striker. As he lay on the ground Wicks inexplicably stepped on his arm. Although the head referee Alex Prus and assistant linesman Rob Fereday missed the play, fourth official Andrew Chapin saw it clearly from midfield, as did many United fans seated just behind on the Quiet Side of RFK.
With United trailing and now down to ten men, Head coach Tom Soehn inserted backup goalkeeper Milos Kocic and subbed out the ineffective Christian Gomez. United poured forward to no avail as shot after shot was blocked by the bunkered in Sounders defense and then Seattle put the game past all doubt in the 86th minute on a counter attack. United defender Dejan Jakovic was left alone to defend Seattle forward Sebastian Le Toux down the left sideline. Le Toux seemed to get away with a foul just before they got to the end line and the Frenchman simply fed the ball across the goalmouth to waiting substitute Roger Levesque to put away for a 2-0 lead.
What little life United had remaining did conjur up a goal to halve the deficit in the 89th minute. Santino Quaranta’s free kick was deflected right into the path of Clyde Simms who easily slotted into the goal and gave United a brief albeit fading lifeline. United sent the kitchen sink forward but never really threatened to score in the resulting 5 minutes of stoppage time allowed by Prus.
Seattle Sounders FC walked into RFK Stadium with a ton of bravado and walked out with a well deserved U.S. Open Cup championship to take back to the Emerald City. United sits and waits for a rematch in 10 days at RFK.