As four-time champions, the Seattle Sounders are something of U.S. Open Cup royalty.
But the Major League Soccer club struggled through 71 scoreless minutes with the Kitsap Pumas before finally putting the Premier Development League side away, 2-0, Wednesday at Starfire Sports Stadium.
The winner was a short-range goal through traffic by Cristian Roldan, assisted by Aaron Kovar. Joevin Jones added the final tally moments from the end.
Seattle went with a largely reserve lineup, with Roldan, Kovar, Zack Scott, Dylan Remick and Herculez Gomez among the most familiar performers. Appearing with the first team for the first time was midfielder Zach Mathers, an S2 player who was signed to a short-term contract just in advance of the match. Tyler Miller handled the goalkeeping.
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That unit controlled much of the action. In the sixth minute, Scott put a header off of the crossbar. Soon enough, good chances followed from Gomez, Darwin Jones and Kovar. But nothing got through in the first half.
The trend continued for 25 minutes into the second half, before the Sounders broke through.
The result sends the Sounders on to the fifth round against an opponent to be determined by lot on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Kitsap returns to league play Friday against Sounders U-23 in Sumner. Seattle will resume MLS play Sunday at the New York Red Bulls.