TUKWILA, WA— (Sounders release) Seattle Sounders FC topped the Portland Timbers 2-1 on Tuesday evening in the Fourth Round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Starfire Stadium. Midfielders Aaron Kovar and Zach Mathers scored goals for the Rave Green, who are now 23-3-4 in Open Cup play, including a 19-1-1 mark at home. Seattle now prepares for a cross-country flight on Thursday, with Seattle visiting New York City FC on Saturday, June 17 at Yankee Stadium (10:00 a.m. PT / ESPN, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).
It didn’t take long for Seattle to find the scoresheet, as Kovar struck first in the third minute. Defender Nouhou Tolo sent in a cross to the center of the area, where a streaking Kovar connected on a one-time touch and sent his shot into the back of the net. The Homegrown Player now has one goal and two assists in overall Open Cup action.
Portland equalized the score at one apiece in the 38th minute. On a corner kick, Ben Zemanski sent a looping ball to the far corner of the six-yard-box, where Rennico Clarke skied a header in front of the net. Portland’s Augustine Williams made an ensuing leaping header into the bottom left corner of Tyler Miller’s net.
Mathers scored a penalty-kick goal in the 54th minute, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead. After a handball in the area gave Seattle an attempt from the spot, the second-year pro drilled a shot into the bottom right corner of the net to give Sounders FC a 2-1 advantage. The goal marked Mathers’ first goal in Open Cup play.
Seattle held onto the lead for the remaining 35 minutes of action. In all, six USL players saw the field while on a short-term loan from S2: Sam Rogers, Rodrigue Ele, Ray Saari, Francisco Narbon, Felix Chenkam and Irvin Parra. While the club learns of its next Open Cup opponent on Thursday via a draw held by U.S. Soccer, Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s side is set to visit New York City FC on Saturday, June 17 on ESPN. Kickoff is slated for 10:00 a.m. PT.