Sounders FC to face Houston in MLS West Semifinals

Sounders FC to face Houston in MLS West Semifinals

Seattle Hosts Dynamo on Thursday, Visits Houston on November 8.

RENTON, WASH. – The Seattle Sounders FC will face the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup Playoff Western Conference Semifinals, beginning on Thursday night, October 29, on Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m PT. The match will be televised by ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

The second leg will be played on Sunday, November 8, at Houston’s Robertson Stadium. The time is to be determined.

Tickets for Thursday’s game are available at www.SoundersFC.com. Due to the overwhelming initial response, the Sounders FC opened an additional 3,000 loge seats in the Qwest Field upper level. The initial offering sold-out in 30 minutes last Saturday morning.

The Dynamo earned the No. 2 seed in the West by beating Chivas USA, 3-2, on the road on Sunday. The Sounders FC is the No. 3 seed.

The Sounders FC faced Houston twice during the regular season. Seattle defeated the Dynamo, 2-1, at home on July 11, and earned a 1-1 draw at Houston on August 23. The Sounders FC also eliminated Houston from the U.S. Open Cup in the semifinal round, winning, 2-1, in extra time on July 21 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington.

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA meet in the other West Semifinal series. The Galaxy won the West Conference and the No. 1 seed by virtue of a tiebreaker over Houston.

Conference Semifinal series are conducted in a home-and-home, aggregate-goal format. The lower seeded team hosts the first game. The team that scores the most goals in the home-and-home series advances to the single-elimination Conference Championship. If the teams are tied after 180 minutes in the Conference Semifinal series, a 30-minute extra time period (divided into two 15-minute periods) will be played, followed by kicks from the penalty spot, if necessary.

The winners of the four series advance to a single-game Conference Championships that will determine the MLS Cup Finalists. The team with the higher seed between the two finalists will host the game, between November 12 and November 15. MLS Cup 2009 will be played at Seattle’s Qwest Field on November 22 at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Seattle is the first expansion team in 11 years and the third overall to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs. Chicago and Miami each qualified in 1998, with the Fire going on to win the championship.

Houston is a two-time MLS Cup champion, winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.

The Columbus Crew is the defending MLS Cup Champion. The Crew will meet Real Salt Lake and the Chicago Fire faces the New England Revolution in the East Semifinal.

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