US Open Cup Reaction

Friday, September 04, 2009 | View Comments
Kasey Keller

I apologize for the slight delay; as I write this, I am in Texas, taking care of some various site business.

But I'd be remiss if I didn't post a little something on Wednesday's US Open Cup final.

Quite a final, wasn't it? On it's own, the actual play would have made the game an instant classic, as least in terms of the US Open Cup. Two fairly strong MLS teams intent on winning silverware, putting out the best sides they could in light of the rules that govern the tournament. Add in the Josh Wicks-inspired drama, and the final enters the realm of "much talked about". It's a condition that the Open Cup doesn't always possess.

Wicks' actions, with the Sounders victory as the other story, are dominating the discussion. What Wicks did, and there is little question as to his intent as he "stomped" Freddy Montero after the Columbian's goal, was terrible and inexcusable. Frustrations boil over, and players are human, so "blow ups" are always only moments from happening; but for Seattle's first trophy as an MLS club to be overshadowed by Wicks is unfortunate.

Montero avoided injury, however, and so Sounders fans should be happy to move on and celebrate their Open Cup win. They've achieved one of their states goals for their inaugural top-flight season, and will now head into the CONCACAF Champions League next year. That's a massive thing, not just for them but for that competition, as (if they are able to carry over their momentum in the stands) they will surely bring bigger crowds to their CCL matches than any other American club.

The other battle, the one over the site of the final and whether or not DC United could draw a crowd "worthy" of winning that bid, was of just as much interest to many observers as the game itself. 17,329 fans filed into RFK Stadium, a number that represents a massive success considering the midweek date and the non-league nature of the match. That crowd represents the fourth best attendance for United in 2009, and I don't think it's a stretch to say that DC's marketing department should be applauded for all they did to make it happen. Their investment in the game, spurred by the war of words between Kevin Payne and Adrian Hanauer, was impressive.

I'm sure, however, that Sounders fans would still claim they would have sold out the match and almost doubled United's crowd; but their team won the match, and that should be the most important thing.

Congrats to the Sounders; if Major League Soccer's most successful club couldn't win their 13th trophy, then having the newest gold standard of American soccer clubs win their first is a fine alternative. Hell, it might even be a better result for the future of the tournament.

Feel free to post your thoughts on the match, the "success" of United in the stands, or the fallout that might/should come from Josh Wicks ill-advised foul.

Highlights, courtesy of

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