The Portland Timbers have reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and will visit longtime rival Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday in an intimate setting at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.
Here is how both teams reached this point in the tournament: After beating Orlando U-23 in the Fourth Round, the Timbers took care of business against defending-MLS champs and 2012 U.S. Open Cup-winners Sporting Kansas City with a 3-1 win in the Fifth Round on June 24. Seattle, meanwhile, defeated USASA side PSA Elite and then got past MLS opponent San Jose on penalties.
And so one of the greatest rivalries in North American sports returns to the U.S. Open Cup. Let's take a look at five numbers to know for Wednesday's match.
FIVEThe number of wins in U.S. Open Cup play under head coach Caleb Porter since 2013. With Porter at the helm, the Timbers are an impressive 5-1-0 in U.S. Open Cup play, with a pair of victories coming on the road against FC Dallas (2013) and Sporting KC (2014) in late rounds of the tournament. In 2013, Porter guided the Timbers to the U.S. Open Cup semifinal, the deepest run in club history in the tournament.
FourIn U.S. Open Cup play, Gastón Fernández has been on fire. With four goals, Fernández is currently tied with Blake Smith of NASL side Indy Eleven as the tournament's leading goal scorer. After a two-goal performance against Orlando City U23s, he tallied a brace against Sporting KC in the following round. In total, the Timbers have scored six goals over two cup games, and take a plus-five goal differential into Wednesday’s matchup against Sounders FC.
fiveWednesday’s match will mark the fifth time these two rivals, Portland and Seattle, have gone head-to-head in the U.S. Open Cup since 2005. The two Northwest foes met previously in the 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010 tournaments. In fact, the two clubs have played a U.S. Open Cup match on the same ground – Starfire Sports Complex – as Wednesday’s match. It was seven years ago on June 26, 2007, in the second round of the cup.
twoOn a historical note, Timbers assistant coach Cameron Knowles played in two of the previous Timbers-Sounders U.S. Open Cup matches during his playing career. The former defender played against the Sounders in 2007, when both clubs were members of United Soccer Leagues, and then again in the 2009 (pictured) tournament as the second-division Timbers battled the MLS expansion Sounders.
EIGHTThe number of teams remaining in the 2014 U.S. Open Cup; the tournament field - the largest of the cups modern era (1995-current) - started with 80. There are six MLS sides - Timbers, Sounders FC, Chicago Fire, FC Dallas, Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution - remaining in the tournament as well as NASL clubs Atlanta Silverbacks and Carolina RailHawks. The winner of the Portland-Seattle matchup will play host to the winner of Chicago-Atlanta in the 2014 U.S. Open Cup semifinal on Aug. 13.