Sounders FC got a pair of goals from Mike Fucito on Tuesday and needed both to put away the Kitsap Pumas, 2-1, at Starfire Sports Stadium and advance in the U.S. Open Cup.
Fucito started in a Sounders lineup that mixed reserves such as Taylor Graham, Michael Tetteh, David Estrada, Mike Seamon and Miguel Montano with more familiar names such as Terry Boss in goal and Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez on the back line. Also in the lineup was regular starter Osvaldo Alonso, who had missed the last league match due to yellow card accumulation.
Given the disparity of the clubs’ experience and resumes, Kitsap coach Pete Fewing said it would be crucial for the mostly college-age Pumas to weather the opening minutes cleanly. Kitsap did that and more.
Seattle dominated possession early, and the vast majority of those opening minutes were played on the Kitsap defensive end. However, the Sounders couldn’t break through, and the Pumas seemed to increase both possession and confidence through the middle portion of the first half.
Seattle finally got on the board in the 39th minute, as Nate Jaqua headed a cross on to Fucito, who volleyed it past Bryan Meredith, a former draft pick of the Sounders.
Fucito struck again in the 61st minute, taking a pass from Seamon and then patiently touching it around Meredith and firing past the scrambling Kitsap defenders.
Kitsap cut the lead in half 10 minutes later, as Nikolas Besagno went to the turf and knocked in cross from just in front of the goal.
Both teams had chances in the final minutes, but the score remained unchanged.
The win sends Seattle on to the quarterfinals, where it will play the Los Angeles Galaxy. That game will be played July 12 or 13 at Starfire.
The Sounders return to league play at 7:30 p.m. Monday, visiting the MLS-leading Los Angeles Galaxy.
SEA — Mike Fucito (Nate Jaqua) 39
SEA — Mike Fucito (unassisted) 62
KIT — Nikolas Besagno (Robert Christner) 71
Kitsap Pumas– Bryan Meredith, Stephen Mohn, Taylor Hyde, Dan Scott, Mark Lee, Matt Friesen (David Gray 84), Nikolas Besagno, Elliott Fauske, Cameron Hepple (Tye Perdido 83), Robert Christner, Bryan Burke (Warlen Silva 69).
Substitutes Not Used: Zac Lubin, Samuel Roca, Chris Andre, Kendell McFayden.
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Nikolas Besagno 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Nikolas Besagno 1); FOULS: 8 (Dan Scott 3); OFFSIDES: 5 (Robert Christner 2, Bryan Burke 2); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Cameron Hepple 6); SAVES: 6 (Bryan Meredith 6)
Seattle Sounders — Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez, Taylor Graham, Michael Tetteh, David Estrada (Pat Noonan 54), Osvaldo Alonso, Mike Seamon (Servando Carrasco 85), Miguel Montano, Mike Fucito (Jeff Parke 68), Nate Jaqua.
Substitutes Not Used: Roger Levesque, Lamar Neagle, Tyson Wahl, Josh Ford.
TOTAL SHOTS: 25 (Nate Jaqua 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Nate Jaqua 3); FOULS: 4 (Nate Jaqua 2, Michael Tetteh 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (Miguel Montano 2); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Miguel Montano 4); SAVES: 0
KIT — Taylor Hyde (caution; Reckless Tackle) 43
KIT — Dan Scott (caution; Tactical Foul) 80
Referee: Tyler Ploeger
Referee’s Assistants:-Mike Rottersman; Jeff Hosking
4th Official: William Niccolls
71st minute: GOAL KITSAP. Nikolas Besagno slides in front of the goal and whacks in a cross. I’ll try to pass along the assist credit later. Seattle, 2-1.
68th minute: Parke in for Fucito, who scored both goals.
61st minute: GOAL SEATTLE. Very nice second goal of the night from Fucito, who took a pass from Seamon in the box and then patiently juked past the charging keeper and fired past the scrambling Kitsap defenders. Seattle, 2-0.
51st minute: First sub: Pat Noonan in for Estrada.
Meanwhile, in LA: LA Galaxy and LA Blues are scoreless at halftime. If Sounders win tonight, they’ll face the winner of that one July 12 at Starfire.
Second half: Has begun. No changes for either side.
Halftime: 1-0 Seattle, but Kitsap has had a couple of very good chances.
39th minute: GOAL SEATTLE. Jaqua heads a ball into the box on to Mike Fucito who volleys it in past Kitsap keeper Bryan Meredith. Seattle, 1-0.
30 minutes: Sounders controlling again, but still nil-nil … and with no especially great chances for Seattle.
Second 10 minutes: Over that section, I’d say advantage Kitsap… which seems to be rightly gaining confidence. Coach Pete Fewing had said those early minutes would be crucial, and the Pumas survived them nicely.
12th minute: Best chance of the game so far … and it was the Pumas’. The ball got lost in a tangle of legs in the Seattle penalty area and emerged at the foot of Kitsap caption Nikolas Besagno, who faced Seattle keeper Terry Boss one-on-one, but fired wide.
First 10 minutes: All Sounders in terms of chances and possession. But no breakthrough yet.
However, the Kitsap fans are into this game nicely, cheering every time Pumas make a steal or connect passes.
Kickoff: Game has begun. Kitsap in white/blue; Sounders in electricity.
Lineup: For Sounders: GK Boss; D Scott, Gonzalez, Graham, Tetteh; M Estrada, Alonso, Seamon, Montano; F Fucito, Jaqua. Bench: Ford, Carrasco, Levesque, Neagle; Noonan, larke, Wahl.
For Kitsap: GK Meredith; D Mohn, Hyde, Scott, Lee; M Friesen, Besagno, Fauske, Hepple; F Chrisner, Burke. Bench: Lubin, Gray, Silva, Roca, Perdido, Andre, McFayden.
30 minutes to kickoff: Pretty good representation of Kitsap blue here at Starfire tonight.
And speaking of colors … Sounders wearing electricity yellows for the first time this season.
Pregame: Cloudy with the occasional random drop of rain in Tukwila about an hour and a half before kickoff of tonight’s US Open Cup third-round match between the Sounders and Kitsap Pumas.
We’ll keep this post open all evening for pregame, in-game and postgame news, and hopefully your comments. The next bit of news might be the lineup, which should include a lot of rarely seen faces for the Sounders.
There is no TV or radio, but the game will be streamed at SoundersFC.com, and I’ll try to keep you updated both here and at the Twitter address on the rail at left. Seattle, 2-1.