San Jose knocks Sounders out of 2017 US Open Cup

Seattle_Sounders_FC.svgSAN JOSE, CA— (Sounders release) Despite an impressive second-half free-kick goal from Aaron Kovar, Sounders FC fell 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes Wednesday evening in the Fifth Round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Seattle’s quest for a record fifth Open Cup title comes up short thanks to a late winner by Danny Hoesen, as the Rave Green played the final 55 minutes of Wednesday’s fixture with 10 men. Brian Schmetzer’s club returns to MLS play on Tuesday, July 4 in a road matchup with the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (6:00 p.m. PT / Q13 FOX, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).

San Jose struck first in the sixth minute courtesy of midfielder Shea Salinas. Following a Quakes corner-kick, the ball fell to Salinas at the top of the area for a first-time shot that was deflected into the back of Tyler Miller’s net for a 1-0 lead.

Sounders FC went down to 10 men in just the 35th minute when Francisco Narbon was issued a red card for a tackle from behind near midfield. This marks the second ejection in as many matches across all competitions for Seattle, following Brad Evans’ ejection on Sunday in Portland.

The Rave Green equalized in the opening minutes of the second half. After Jones won a free-kick from roughly 25 yards out, Kovar stepped up and delivered a curving strike that bent into the top right corner of the net, just outside the reach of Quakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell.

Despite playing a man down, the Rave Green pressured San Jose throughout the second half. Seattle nearly took the lead in the 67th minute when halftime substitute Will Bruin chased down and recovered ball near the touchline and crossed to Harry Shipp for a one-time shot, but the attempt rolled just wide of the far post.

The home side finally broke through in the 84th minute with a winner from Hoesen, a late substitute. After receiving a pass from Jackson Yueill near the top of the area, the Dutch forward took capitalized on the man-advantage and dribbled through Seattle’s defense before finishing past Miller, sending the Quakes through to the Quarterfinals in the debut match for Head Coach Chris Leitch.

A four-time winner of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Sounders FC falls to 23-4-4 all-time in the tournament, including a 4-3-3 record on the road. The Rave Green are tied with the Chicago Fire (also eliminated Wednesday evening) for the most titles among MLS sides. With the win this evening, San Jose is set the host the LA Galaxy in the Quarterfinal Round.

Sounders FC returns to MLS action next week with a July 4 road matchup against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. PT with television coverage on Q13 FOX.

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