Sounders U-23 opened U.S. Open Cup play Tuesday with a 5-1 mauling of Doxa Italia on Tuesday at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
All of the U-23 goals came in the first half, and four came from David Geno, a forward from Kingsport, Tenn., and East Tennessee State University.
“Soccer’s a player’s game,” U-23 coach Darren Sawatzky said. “A young guy from Tennessee came out and said, ‘This is why I want to be in Seattle.’ … If that’s any indication of where he’s headed, it’s a good pickup.”
Geno became the 10th player to score four goals in U.S. Open Cup competition since 1995 (when such record began being kept). The tournament record is six.
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“Everybody played so well today,” Geno said. “I was just on the end of some perfect balls in. I had the easy part, really.”
Doxa Italia came in as a Southern California men’s league power. It has won the Coast Soccer League Premier Division title five times in nine years and was U.S. Adult Soccer Association’s National Amateur Cup runner-up in 2011. Its goal Tuesday came in the 68th minute.
Sounders U-23 jumped ahead in the 13th minute with a goal from Darwin Jones from the University of Washington. Geno’s four goals in a 19-minute span made it 5-0 by the 38th minute. Geno didn’t play in the second half as Sawatzky turned an eye to his club’s Premier Development League opener Thursday at Portland.
Sounders U-23’s next Open Cup match will be Tuesday at the Charlotte (N.C.) Eagles of USL Pro.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org/soccer