Rumors started kicking around the internet last April that the Sounders FC was seeking to bring Thierry Henry to Seattle. It was announced Friday that it may become a reality, as Henry’s FC Barcelona club will come to Seattle August 5, to face the Sounders FC at Qwest Field.
“I know there were a lot of rumors out there, so I guess in some ways some of them are true,” owner/GM Adrian Hanauer said.
On the heels of their victory over Chelsea to advance to the Champions League final against Manchester United on May 27 in Rome, Barca joined with the Sounders to make the announcement this morning.
For soccer fans, the friendly will provide another opportunity to see some of the top players in the world. Along with Henry, Barca features such stars as two-time runner up for FIFA Player of the Year Lionel Messi, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o and 2008 FIFA Player of the Year finalist Xavi, among others.
“As a fan, I’m beside myself to have a chance to see those teams and measure our team to see where we are on the world stage,” Hanauer said. “We also wanted to make sure we gave value to our season ticket holders and that we rewarded their belief in us. It’s a hard economic time and that makes it hard to commit to the team the way they have. This is our way to say thanks to those fans.”
With Chelsea already on the schedule July 18 at Qwest Field, Hanauer looked at Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal a bit differently.
“It was exciting. You watch it a little bit differently knowing that those players will be here,” Hanauer said. “Then you start thinking about the players we have to match up with – those are some of the best players in the world.”
The August 5 game is added to a growing list of marquee games at Qwest Field this year. In addition to the Sounders FC friendly against Chelsea in July, the US National Team will face Grenada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup July 4 and Seattle will host the 2009 MLS Cup in November.