The 99th U.S. Open Cup tournament comes to a close Wednesday night, as Sporting Kansas City attempts to end the Seattle Sounders' three-year reign of the annual knockout competition at Livestrong Sporting Park.
A capacity crowd is expected for what should be a great end to a memorable tournament. The change to the new format this year made for some tremendous underdog stories, none bigger than USASA side Cal FC's run that included a win over the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field before concluding at the hands of the Sounders in the Round of 16.
Sporting Kansas City will try to do what Cal FC and no other team has been able to do since Aug. 12, 2008: Eliminate the Sounders from the Open Cup like the Charleston Battery did to the then-USL Sounders, winning on penalties in the semifinals of that tournament.
Since then, the competition has become akin to the Sounders Invitational, and for Seattle, capturing the Open Cup in enemy territory has been done before. The Sounders began their historic tournament run in 2009 by defeating D.C. United at RFK Stadium before winning the last two titles at home; however, the combination of quality of opponent and venue should make winning the 2012 title the toughest challenge yet.
Which team do you think will capture the 2012 U.S. Open Cup tonight? Cast your vote after the jump:
How did you vote? Which team do you see winning the Open Cup? What do you think will be the difference tonight?
Share your thoughts below.