U.S. Open Cup Preview: San Diego Loyal takes on Seattle Sounders
Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Diego Loyal SC
Wednesday, April 26 @ 7 pm
Stream: Free on Bleacher Report APP or Bleacher Report YouTube channel
Radio: El Rey 1360AM
The Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is upon us! Seattle Sounders FC will host the San Diego Loyal for a battle in the northwest.
This marks the second straight season where the Loyal advance to the tournament’s Third Round after losing to Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 last year. In both seasons, the Loyal defeated Albion San Diego to work their way to the big stage.
This will be a tough match for the Loyal as they look to advance to the next round for the first time. Seattle is off to a great start in the MLS, winning six of their first nine matches. They are tied for second in the Western Conference with 19 points but are in second place due to goal difference.
Jordan Morris is torching up the MLS right now with eight goals and one assist in nine matches. The forward has seen time with the USMNT and is off to the best start to his career. Outside of the Morris goals, Raul Ruidiaz and Héber both have two goals as well.
The San Diego Loyal defense will have one of their biggest challenges of the season to date, maybe even ever.
The Loyal are coming off a tight 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies last Sunday evening. Duran Ferree started his first match of the season and earned a clean sheet in the process. Tampa Bay has been known to be an elite club. However, this year they are going through struggles early on. TB only attempted nine shots, with none on target.
Whole team on the same page. pic.twitter.com/4EaeTTRGoc
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) April 24, 2023
The momentum is high for San Diego. The Team is back in the win column and has yet to lose at home at Torero Stadium this season. The Loyal will be on the road for this crucial match but should feel comfortable playing on the west coast.
Evan Conway leads the club with three goals so far on the season, and Ronaldo Damus is second with two. Nick Moon, Blake Bodily, Simba, and Adrian Perez are all tied with one goal on the season. Perez scored the only goal of the match in the win over the Rowdies on Sunday.
However, it wasn’t Perez who earned the Team of the Week honors. Instead, midfielder Joe Corona earned his first TOTW honor after a strong match. Corona completed 50 of 55 passes, won 10 of 12 duels, and won four of his six tackle attempts. The National City native also created two chances for the Loyal and, as a result, put his name on the TOTW for his all-around performance.
None better than Joe Benny. 🪄💫
San Diego’s own @JoeCorona15 has been named to the @USLChampionship Team of the Week.
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) April 25, 2023
Corona joins Simba and Koke Vegas as the third player to get the honor this season.
The Loyal are playing very well as they head into one of the biggest matches of their short existence.
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.