Despite the looming specter of last season’s "Red Card Wedding," the Seattle Sounders kicked off their 2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup season with a decisive 2-0 win over local PDL side Kitsap Pumas. Brian Schmetzer, coaching the Sounders in place of the suspended Sigi Schmid, praised both his own team and the opposition after the match, saying that the Pumas were "very organized and very disciplined." Schmetzer went with a mixed lineup, putting veterans in with young players, including rookie Zach Mathers, who was signed on a short-term loan from S2 in order to play in this match for the Sounders.
The match started quite brightly for the Sounders, as captain Zach Scott nearly headed Seattle in front with an excellent flick off a corner, but the ball just bounced off the post. Darwin Jones wasted an excellent chance soon after, when he poked the ball wide from an excellent Oniel Fisher cross. Herculez Gomez and Jones had a couple of opportunities on goal as the half went on, but nothing came of any of them as the Pumas held on to keep the match 0-0 going into halftime.
The first substitute came at the beginning of the second half, as Erik Friberg came on for Nathan Sturgis, who had a nasty collision with the keeper near the end of the first half. Schmetzer said afterwards that Sturgis was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but he didn't have any information on the player’s condition.
The Sounders didn’t come out as dominant at the beginning of the second half, and the match sort of stuttered along until Joevin Jones came in for Darwin Jones in the 63rd minute. The substitute picked up right where he left off in his excellent performance against DC United a fortnight ago, using his pace and technique to ramble up and down the left side of the pitch. But the breakthrough finally came from a player who had been everywhere in this match—Cristian Roldan. The midfielder scored his first professional goal for the Sounders on a ridiculous chip after Aaron Kovar crossed it in from the right.
Near the end of the match, Joevin Jones showed just why he’d been playing in an attacking role the last couple matches. A quick Sounders counter led to a brilliant pass by Friberg to Jones, who took his shot well and put the Sounders up 2-0 and leaving no doubt that his team would be moving on to the fifth round of the US Open Cup.