The Fire earned a place in their sixth US Open Final by virtue of a 2-1 victory over a scrappy Richmond Kickers club that battled for ninety minutes. The Seattle Sounders FC will be the opponent on October 4 in Washington after they defeated FC Dallas 1-0.
The Fire are making an attempt to salvage something out of a frustrating 2011 season as the team appears to be rounding into form as the MLS season reaches the home stretch. Sebastian Grazzini continues to be a catalyst, this time providing a pass into Patrick Nyarko in the 32nd minute that lead to the Argentine's score from the penalty spot. Dominic Oduro also continues to surprise many with his goal scoring ability this season. Oduro's 61st minute golazo provided the difference in what is turning out to be a career year for him. Frank Klopas called Oduro's strike "world class" in his post game press conference (which you can see here).
Team captain Logan Pause was excited after the match but warned, "I think as you can see through our play we're getting more confident but we still haven't done anything. We're in a final which we're happy about but we want to lift the trophy and then we obviously want to make a final push for the playoffs. "
Other USOC Post Game Notes:
- Sebastian Grazzini was substituted at half time for Baggio Husidic due to a hamstring injury. Grazzini said after the match that he was nursing a knock on his ankle and favoring the injury may have caused the hamstring tightness. He does expect to be ready for the Fire's next league match in San Jose.
- The US Open Cup Final appearance will be the Fire's sixth in club history. The Sounders have won the last two USOC titles.
- Pavel Pardo did not play due to the calf injury suffered against Colorado.
- The US Open Cup Final will be played at 9pm central time at Century Link Field on Tuesday, October 4. Tickets go on sale next Tuesday, September 6.
- For those that missed the game or would like to watch it again, Chicago-Fire.com should have it available soon.
- Both Marco Pappa and Orr Barouch will be active during the break representing Guatemala and Israel in international friendlies. Barouch and the Israeli U-21's face England on Monday while Pappa and Guatemala will play St. Vincent/Grenadines on Friday and Belize on Tuesday before returning to Chicago for MLS play.