Well it is awfully difficult to play 4 men down, and in today’s Open Cup match, the Sounders had to do just that. The Seattle squad found captain Brad Evans, star forward Clint Dempsey, and Mid Fielder Michael Azira sent off the field for red cards, while the other star forward, Obafemi Martins was carted off to injury.
In a poorly played game, tonight’s US Open Cup challenge saw horrendous officiating by referee Daniel Radford to capstone the sloppy exhibition.
Misfortune came early as Portland struck first blood in the 48th minute on a Diego Valeri strike. This was followed by a second yellow card sending Sounders Captain Brad Evans to the showers, leaving the Rave Green with only 10 men on the field.
The Sounders fought hard and eventually scored the equalizer in the 79th minute off the foot of Obafemi Martins. The excitement was short lived as Oba went out to injury. As Seattle had already substituted 3 times, they had to play into overtime down yet another man–now playing in extra minutes with only 9 players.
Two goals in overtime by the Timbers sealed the victory. In the 111th minute, frustration over poor officiating erupted when a shouting match between Sounders players and Radford; this resulted in two more Sounders being carded and sent to the locker room. Although the fans did not get their moneys worth, Azira and Dempsey clearly did as they grabbed the official’s yellow card and ripped it up in protest.
While the Sounders are eliminated from US Open Cup play, they continue to focus on the MLS regular season. Next up, the San Jose Earthquakes on June 20th.