RENTON , WASH. – The inaugural Seattle Sounders FC game will be featured as Major League Soccer’s opening date for the 2009 season, it was announced today. Sounders FC will host the New York Red Bulls on Thursday night, March 19, in a match nationally televised by ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific Time at Qwest Field. Sounders FC will be making its debut as the 15th team in MLS. New York is the 2008 MLS Cup runner-up.
“By being selected for the first match of the 2009 MLS season, this presents an opportunity to show a national audience what all the excitement is about in Seattle,” said Sounders FC majority owner Joe Roth. “Our supporters will be in full voice and, along with our players, wearing green. It promises to be quite a spectacle.”
The balance of the First Kick (MLS Opening Weekend) schedule features five matches on March 21 and another on March 22.
It was also announced that Seattle will be the guest for the Toronto FC home opener April 4. That match is scheduled for a 12 noon Pacific kickoff.
The complete MLS schedule will be released in early February. Each team will play a 30-game regular season. Each team will play every other MLS team home and away, for a base of 28 games. Two additional games against intra-conference rivals will complete each team’s league schedule. The regular season ends on Oct. 25.
Since the franchise was awarded in November of 2007, over 18,000 season tickets have been purchased. Over 14,500 votes were cast in naming the team and results will be announced later this week regarding the recently concluded votes for naming both the marching band and members association.
Season tickets are available by calling 1-877-MLS-GOAL or by visiting www.SoundersFC.com.
The Sounders FC kit, including home and away uniforms, will be unveiled Thursday, Dec. 4, during a fashion show which will raise funds for the Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Quest for the Cure. Guild
Sounders FC added 10 players to the roster following the Nov. 26 expansion draft. Altogether, there are now 14 Seattle players, including midfielder Freddie Ljungberg and goalkeeper Kasey Keller. Both played for English Premier League clubs during the 2007-08 season.