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Fucito and Sounders advance in US Open Cup

TUKWILA, Wash. – 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.

The Sounders have won back-to-back Open Cups since joining Major League Soccer in 2009.

Nikolas Besagno, a former MLS No. 1 overall draft pick by Real Salt Lake in 2005, scored for Kitsap.

The Pumas, based in Bremerton, 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, who defeated the Los Angeles Blues of the USL Pro League 2-1.

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 with a 12-yarder from the right of the penalty spot into the back left corner.

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 included four players seeing their first action of any kind this year.

The Sounders are 10-0-1 in Open Cup play the past three seasons.