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May 14, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Sounders U-23s set for U.S. Open Cup debut

u23s logoThe Sounders FC U-23s will host Doxa Italia, a U.S. Amateur Soccer Association team, at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup. The game will be played at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner and tickets are available.

The U-23s, making their Open Cup debut since rebranding last year, feature several products from the Sounders academy, as well as other local talent. The team won the PDL’s Northwest Division title last year, though a couple key players — like DeAndre Yedlin and Doug Herrick — have moved on.

Doxa Italia, based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., was the Coast Soccer League champion with a 16-0 record in 2012 and will play for the CSL Cup title later this summer.

The winner of Tuesday’s game advances to the second round, which involves a May 21 road game against the Charlotte Eagles of the third-tier USL PRO at Queens University of Charlotte Sports Complex.

“Qualifying for the Open Cup was a goal last year and the young players are excited to test their level against former professional players that compete in a very good league,” said U-23s coach and general manager Darren Sawatzky in a team release. “Different than a team that plays and trains together regularly throughout the year, we field our group of academy players and top college players looking to get to that next level for a couple months. It will be a very good learning game for these players.”

Tuesday kicks off a run of three games in six days for the U-23s, who follow up with the season’s first two PDL games in Portland on Thursday and Victoria, B.C., on Sunday.

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