The Seattle Sounders Under-23 team did not waste time booking their place in the Second Round of the US Open Cup, scoring five goals in the first half to defeat Doxa Italia 5-1 in Sumner, Wash. The Sounders will travel to North Carolina to face the Charlotte Eagles of USL Pro in the next round on May 21.
Seattle’s Darwin Jones opened the scoring in the 13th minute before David Geno tallied four goals in a span of 26 minutes. Doxa’s Bryan Byrne added the consolation strike for the California amateur side in the second half.
The Sounders controlled the game early on, with Jones getting isolated repeatedly on the left wing. On one of those occasions, he beat his man, and finished to the far post past the keeper to give the Sounders a 1-0 lead.
Doxa’s Kyle Holland responded immediately after with a shot barely kept out by Sounders keeper Zac Lubin, and for a few minutes it looked like Doxa might be able to make a game of it.
But Geno stopped any momentum from building with his first goal in the 19th minute. The buildup began with an Aodhan Quinn cross to Mauricio DeLeon, whose initial shot shot was blocked by Doxa keeper Justin Commins. But Geno was on hand to smash home the rebound and double the score.
Seattle kept pressing, with several chances, including a DeLeon shot that fizzed across the face of the goal. Any doubts about the match were put to bed in the 36th minute when Geno scored again. Jones sent in a cross to the wide-open Geno at the far post, who had a simple tap-in finish.
Geno completed his hat trick three minutes later, when he audaciously flicked a DeLeon pass up and over the goalkeeper with the side of his foot and into the net. He added his fourth goal just before the end of the first half on a breakaway, which he slotted past the onrushing Commins.
With the game’s outcome no longer in doubt, the Sounders stepped off the gas pedal a bit in the second half, substituting Geno out and ceding more of the possession to Doxa Italia. The amateur side started to take advantage, creating more opportunities than they had in the first half.
With his four-goal performance, Geno became the first player on an amateur team to score four goals in a game in the Modern Professional Era (1995-present). Only 9 other players have scored four goals in a game since 1995, and none of them played for a team lower than Division II.
One of those ended in Byrne grabbing a goal to salvage some pride when he reacted quickly, ran onto a deflected free-kick and knocked it into the net in the 68th minute. He nearly pulled back a second goal 12 minutes later, when his header was barely kept out by a diving Lubin.
But in the end, it was a comfortable 5-1 victory for the Sounders U-23 side, moving them on to the next round of competition. They will have just seven days to regroup before flying across the country to face Charlotte, a team that made a surprise run to the Quarterfinals last year.
SEA – Darwin Jones 13′
SEA – David Geno 19′
SEA – David Geno (Darwin Jones) 36′
SEA – David Geno (Mauricio DeLeon) 38′
SEA – David Geno 45′
DOX – Bryan Byrne 68′
Sounders FC U-23 – Zac Lubin, Michael Uyehara, Mark Lee, Chris Brundage, Lucas Baldwin, David Geno (Ian Lange 45), Aodhan Quinn (Michael Gallagher 59), Darwin Jones (Michael Harris 73), Mauricio DeLeon, Steve Mohn, Adam West.
Substitutes Not Used: Ben Dragavon, Abdul Aman, Michael David, Miles Byass.
TOTAL SHOTS: 16; FOULS: 12; OFFSIDE: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4.
Doxa Italia – Justin Commins, Justin Valashinas, Ryan Purtell, Joe Cartlidge, Nissa Hatifie (Eddie Pinto 45), Devin Toohey, Steve Chirgwin (Sean Lockhart 64), Greg Piechota, Kyle Holland, Bryan Byrne, Ryan Taylor (Ilia Nazarov 64).
Substitutes Not Used: Devin Shrade, Ricky Figuerod, Richie Million, Matt Urton.
TOTAL SHOTS: 5; FOULS: 5; OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 4.
Sounders FC U-23: Michael Uyehara (caution) 71′
Doxa Italia: Sean Lockhart (caution) 72′
Doxa Italia: Joe Carlidge (caution) 89′
Referee: Katja Koroleva
Referee’s Assistants: Baboucarr Jallow, Ray Moffit Jr.
4th Official: Timon Berry
Time of Game: 7:00 p.m. PST
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial