Already, 33,000 tickets are sold for tonight's US Open Cup final (10 pm ET, FOX Soccer/Univision), and Seattle Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer is expecting over 35,000 to watch his side take on the Chicago Fire. That'd be a record for the 98-year-old tournament.
Seattle's CenturyLink Field will host the final for the second year in a row and the Sounders are participating for the third time running. Still, Osvaldo Alonso has them both beat. The Cuban midfielder will participate in his fourth consecutive Open Cup final tonight. He lost while playing for the Richmond Kickers in 2008 before winning the 2009 and 2010 editions with Seattle.
Alonso's name is surely already written on Sigi Schmid's team-sheet. The Sounders' right flank is less clear, with James Riley (concussion) and Mauro Rosales (knee) missing time recently. Both trained Monday but “are going to be gametime decisions,” according to Schmid.
Seattle could become the first side since 1969 to win three Open Cups in a row. Chicago could also set some history by becoming one of only three clubs to have won the trophy five times. Frank Klopas scored the game-winner in the Fire's first Open Cup win, in 1998. Now he's looking to repeat the performance as a coach.
When Klopas glances at his roster, the guy he might pinpoint to score a winner just might Marco Pappa. The Guatemalan scored a hat-trick last week against Real Salt Lake, earning him Player of the Week honors.