RENTON, WASH. – Major League Soccer announced the entire 34-game 2012 schedule for Seattle Sounders FC today, including 12 matches that have been selected to be televised nationally on either ESPN or NBC Sports Network.
Sounders FC will play the first three matches at home, beginning on Saturday, March 17 versus Toronto FC. This marks the fourth straight year that Seattle has opened at home.
Seattle and Toronto received byes from MLS on the opening weekend of March 10 through March 12. Both clubs are involved in the quarterfinal round of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Sounders FC will host Mexico’s Santos Laguna in the first leg of their Champions League series on March 7 on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. The second leg is March 14 in Torreon, Mexico.
All three of the encounters with the Portland Timbers will be telecast nationally, including the sole home date on October 7 and a September 15 matchup on NBC. The first of six matches on the NBC Sports Network will be March 23 versus the Houston Dynamo with the former voice of Sounders FC, Arlo White, on the call.
As MLS had previously announced, Seattle will face fellow Western Conference teams three times and Eastern Conference clubs once. Sounders FC will travel twice to both Portland and Vancouver. The Whitecaps FC travel to Seattle on August 18.
Fourteen of the 17 home matches will be played at night. Eight home dates are on Saturdays, four on Sundays and Wednesdays and one on Friday.
The final home game is on October 21 against FC Dallas. The regular season concludes on October 28 at L.A.
After hosting the Houston Dynamo on March 23 and the San Jose Earthquakes on March 31, Sounders FC makes its first road trip to D.C. United on April 7. There are three consecutive road matches in late June and early July. Three of the four flights to the Eastern Time Zone occur within a four-week span of early summer.
The unbalanced schedule will bring the MLS Cup champion Galaxy to CenturyLink on two occasions, along with San Jose, Real Salt Lake and Colorado. In addition to Portland and Vancouver, Sounders FC will play twice at FC Dallas and Chivas USA.
Seattle’s travel distance in 2012 will be reduced by an estimated 18.5 percent from last season. Sounders FC logged an estimated 50,582 miles by air and land in 2011, compared to 41,220 for this upcoming season.
All Sounders FC MLS league matches not aired nationally will be carried live in high definition on KING-5 or KONG-6/16. All locally broadcast matches will also be aired either live outside of Seattle or on a delayed basis throughout the Northwest on ROOT SPORTS™. Each match will also be aired live on the radio home of Sounders FC, News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM.
The Champions League quarterfinal winners advance to the two-leg Semifinal Round, which will begin March 27-29 and conclude April 3-5. The final is set to begin April 17-19 and conclude April 24-26.
The team will later announce an additional friendly to be included in the season ticket package. Season tickets can be purchased by visiting the Ticket Page or phoning 1-877-MLS-GOAL.