RENTON, Wash. - For an unprecedented third year in a row the Major League Soccer season will start in Seattle as the League announced today that Sounders FC will meet the L.A. Galaxy in First Kick 2011. The March 15 match on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field will be nationally televised by ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. PT. MLS First Kick 2011 is presented by Dick's Sporting Goods.
Sounders FC will be starting its campaign against the team which eliminated the Rave Green from the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Galaxy, holders of the 2010 Supporters' Shield, won the Western Conference with the best record in MLS.
"We are honored to host the first match of the MLS season for the third year in a row," said Sounders FC owner Joe Roth. "It is a true tribute to the Sounders FC fans who have created a passionate and exciting atmosphere unlike any in the league."
Last season Sounders FC set a new League attendance record, averaging 36,173. Seattle has attracted 32 consecutive capacity crowds in MLS play.
Seattle is perfect on opening night. In its inaugural match in 2009 Sounders FC defeated the New York Red Bulls, 3-0. In First Kick 2010, it beat Philadelphia Union, 2-0.
The other 16 MLS teams begin play on March 19 and March 20. It was also announced that the New York Red Bulls will host Seattle in their home opener on March 19 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. First kick is 4:30 p.m. PT.
"Our team looks forward to playing the two division champions, Los Angeles and New York, in our first two games," said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. "It's a difficult task but we relish the opportunity."
MLS First Kick 2011 will also be carried by ESPN Deportes and ESPN3.com. The complete MLS schedule will be released by early February 2011. Each of the 18 teams will play 34 games, facing each team home and away. Ten teams will qualify for the playoffs.
Sounders FC is currently accepting deposits for 2011 season tickets. To join, go to our Season Tickets page or please call 877-MLS-GOAL. Seattle's schedule will include matches with MLS newcomers Portland and Vancouver, plus an international friendly against a soon-to-be-announced opponent. Seattle had 32,000 season ticket holders in 2010.