SAN FRANCISCO – The Seattle Sounders found the cure for what ails them: the U.S. Open Cup.
Mired in a club-record seven-game winless streak in Major League Soccer, Sounders FC stretched its U.S. Open Cup unbeaten streak to 17 games Tuesday with a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes.
The difference was a 19th-minute goal by Cordell Cato, who ran up the right side before firing inside the far post from a tight angle.
Then the Sounders made that stand up the rest of the way behind goalkeeper Andrew Weber, who played the previous three seasons with San Jose.
The win sends the three-time defending-champion Sounders into the Open Cup semifinals against Chivas USA, which defeated the USL Pro Charlotte Eagles, 2-1, on Tuesday. That game will be played at 7 p.m. July 10 at CenturyLink Field.
The other semifinal sends Sporting Kansas City to the Philadelphia Union on July 11.
Seattle and San Jose each played MLS games over the weekend, and each played with unconventional lineups Tuesday. The Quakes opened with two of their top three goals scorers – Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart – on the bench, although both came on in the second half. Meanwhile, Seattle coach Sigi Schmid opened with Roger Levesque and Sammy Ochoa at forwards in place of regulars Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson.
The game got rough in the second half. San Jose’s Alan Gordon was sent off with a straight red card in stoppage time. Johnson was involved in a scuffle after the final whistle.
The game was played before a crowd of 7,219 at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.
The Sounders will travel directly to New England today, where they will resume league play Saturday against the Revolution.