The Seattle Sounders ended one streak and kept another alive Tuesday night.
Winless in their last seven games (0-4-3), the Sounders continued their U.S. Open Cup dominance with a 1-0 quarterfinals victory over MLS rival San Jose (10-3-3) at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. Seattle is vying for a record fourth consecutive Cup championship.
Forward Cordell Cato scored the only goal in the 19th minute by slamming the ball just inside the far post after an aggressive run up the right side. The 19-year-old rookie’s strike was the first goal of his pro career and marked the only time in the past eight games Seattle scored first.
After taking the lead, the Sounders survived a bombardment from the Earthquakes in a chippy second half. In the 93rd minute, a physical match turned dirty when San Jose’s Alan Gordon earned a red card after hammering Marc Burch in the head from behind.
The Earthquakes couldn’t connect on any of their 10 corner kicks as Seattle goalkeeper Andrew Weber recorded his first shutout of the season. Seattle earned the victory despite head coach Sigi Schmid’s decision to rest starting forwards Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson after the team’s second game in three days.
Schmid came away pleased after his team’s gritty defensive effort helped knock off the best team in the MLS, albeit in non-league action.
“I’m happy with what our team did,” he said. “We talked about being tough to beat and we talked about going back to basics. Maybe it wasn’t going to be all that pretty tonight, but we needed to get the job done. They’re a very physical team as well, but I thought our guys responded really well.”
Notable: After officials blew the final whistle, Sounders forward Eddie Johnson landed a punch aimed at a San Jose reserve. The blow sparked an on-field fight between both squads.