Mike Fucito scored a goal in each half Tuesday night as the Seattle Sounders began their pursuit of a third straight U.S. Open Cup with a 2-1 victory against the Kitsap Pumas at Tukwila, Wash.
The Sounders have won back-to-back Open Cups since joining Major League Soccer in 2009. They are currently tied for second in the MLS West at 8-4-7.
Nikolas Besagno, a former MLS No. 1 overall draft pick by Real Salt Lake in 2005, scored for Kitsap. The Pumas, based in Bremerton, Wash., about an hour west of Seattle, are one of the top teams in the USL Premier Development League.
The Sounders advance to the quarterfinals at home on July 12 against the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS.
Fucito put the Sounders on the board in the 39th minute at Starfire Sports Stadium on the grounds of their training complex.
Forward Nate Jaqua, who scored five goals for Seattle in last year’s Open Cup, was on the set-up end for this one, heading a cross down to Fucito at the top of the penalty area on the left side. Fucito half-volleyed it into the back right corner past Pumas goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.
Fucito doubled the lead to 2-0 midway through the 62nd minute. He took a through ball from Michael Seamon into the left side of the box, deked his way around Meredith, who had come way off his line, and fired a 12-yarder from the right of the penalty spot into the back left corner.
Besagno half-vollyed a shot off his shoetop and into the roof of the net in the 71st minute for the Pumas.
Kitsap nearly tied it at 2-2 midway through the 83rd minute when second-half substitute Warlen Silva went down the left side on a counterattack, got a wide-open one-on-one chance against Sounders goalkeeper Terry Boss, but drove his shot into the outside of the net.
Having come off two MLS games in four days Thursday and Sunday, the Sounders played just one regular starter (midfielder Osvaldo Alonso) against Kitsap. Seattle’s starting 11 on Tuesday included four players seeing their first action of any kind this year.
The Sounders are now 10-0-1 in Open Cup play the past three seasons.