Wednesday, July 2

Chivas USA falls 2-0 to Seattle Sounders in Third Round of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Chivas USA continued its string of disappointing performances in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, falling 2-0 on Tuesday to the reigning USL-1 champion Seattle Sounders in a Third Round match played at Starfire Sports Complex. The loss – on goals from Seattle’s Taylor Graham and Sebastien Le Toux – marked Chivas USA’s second straight elimination from the prestigious knockout tournament at the hands of the USL Sounders, having fallen 3-1 at Seattle also in the Third Round on July 18, 2007. Chivas joined the Houston Dynamo and New York Red Bulls as the three MLS teams to fall victim to USL opponents at this stage of the 2008 Open Cup.

Chivas USA head coach Preki presented a lineup with a number of changes from Sunday’s 1-1 league draw against the New York Red Bulls. Veteran first-teamers Claudio Suárez, Jesse Marsch, Carey Talley and Francisco Mendoza all began the game on the bench, while Ante Razov and Bobby Burling were left behind in Southern California as precautionary measures after picking up minor knocks over the weekend.

Seattle would take the lead just minutes before halftime. In the 42nd, a Sacha Kljestan lost the ball at midfield to the Sounders’ Kenji Treschuk., who played a deft through pass to forward Sebastien Le Toux. The 2007 USL-1 MVP’s shot forced a kick save from Brad Guzan and enlivened the Starfire Sports Complex crowd of 2,997. On the ensuing corner kick, Josh Gardner played a precise cross to the near post, and Taylor Graham lost his mark and rose above a pack of Chivas USA defenders to head the ball past Guzan from eight yards out.

In the 80th minute, goalkeeper Eylander, after saving a deflected Sacha Kljestan freekick, punted the ball downfield. Guzan, Jim Curtin and right back Daniel Paladini appeared to get their lines crossed in the penalty area and, after Curtin headed the ball backwards at the top of the area, Le Toux pounced its chance and chipped a shot over Guzan and into the empty net to give Seattle a 2-0 lead.

In four attempts, the Red-and-White have never advanced to the Quarterfinals of the tournament, having been eliminated in the Third Round by Seattle Sounders (2008, 2007) and amateur side Roma FC of Dallas (2006), as well as the LA Galaxy in the Fourth Round in 2005. Chivas USA’s only win in five U.S. Open Cup matches came on July 13, 2005 against USL-2 side Charlotte Eagles in the tournament’s Third Round.

Chivas USA hosts the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m. PT. The Red-and-White presents a Double Dose of Independence Day for soccer fans, with a special postgame Fireworks Fiesta following the match. For tickets, starting at just $14, call 1-877-CHIVAS-1 or visit