2010 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
10 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel
Seattle will attempt to be the first team in 27 years to defend the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup title when they take on the Columbus Crew in a nationally-televised encounter.
As of Monday, approximately 28,800 tickets had been sold, meaning Tuesday night’s tilt will be the best-attended final in the Open Cup’s 96-year history.
Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle’s domestic form has been impeccable of late. An 8-1-2 run in the past 11 MLS games have solidified Seattle’s playoff position in league play. Recently, Designated Player Blaise Nkufo has taken the scoring load off Fredy Montero’s shoulders with five goals in the past three MLS games.
In US Open Cup play, Nate Jaqua is at the top with five goals in the competition and has scored in each of Seattle’s Open Cup games.
Under Sigi Schmid, Seattle have always valued the US Open Cup.
“It’s always special when you can do something that is unique and that’s different and can set yourself apart from the group, and we have that opportunity [on Tuesday],” Schmid said Monday.
Fresh off clinching a playoff spot with a draw against San Jose, Columbus will be eager to avenge a 4-0 loss they suffered to Seattle on Sept. 18.
Robert Warzycha’s team has once again gotten great production from Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who leads the Crew offense with eight goals and eight assists. Will Hesmer has been solid in goal, recording 11 shutouts and posting a league-high 2,430 minutes. Robbie Rogers, the club’s talented young midfielder, returned against San Jose after rehabilitation for an arthroscopic knee surgery kept him out since August 13.
"[Seattle] gave us a little licking a couple of weeks ago, so we owe them something, too," said Crew defender Frankie Jejduk
Heroes & Villains
Schmid vs. Warzycha: In a plotline borrowed from a kung fu movie, the apprentice takes on the master when these two coaches are reunited. Warzycha was Schmid’s top assistant in Columbus when the Crew won the MLS Cup in 2008.
As a Crew midfielder in the 2002 US Open Cup final, Warzycha cleared a ball off the line in the very last minute to preserve a 1-0 win against the Los Angeles Galaxy, coached then by Schmid.
Stat that makes you go “Hmm"
Seattle’s all-time record against Columbus is an unblemished 2-0-2.