There will be some National Football League (NFL) markings on the field on Friday when the Seattle Sounders FC takes on Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference semifinal playoff series at CenturyLink Field.
The NFL's Seattle Seahawks, who also call CenturyLink Field home, host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday and the Sounders had the choice to either play on Friday with some NFL markings on the field or on Monday without NFL markings, but also with a shorter period of time between the two matches in the series.
Also playing into the decision was the date of the start of the Western Conference final. The winner between Seattle and Real Salt Lake could be put at a disadvantage in the conference final if they were to play on Monday and Thursday, potentially lining up three matches in seven days if the conference final were to start on Sunday.
Sigi Schmid addressed the media on the topic after the team’s training session on Thursday saying:
“I think our organization and this club has been tremendous about making sure that we always played our games on a soccer field and that it was pretty pristine. But we are an organization that works together - the Seahawks and ourselves - and they’ve done things to help us, and we’ve done things to help them. For us right now, from a physiological side for the team, it made more sense to play the game on Friday. We realize that we’d have to deal with some markings. The end zone markings and the midfield markings, we’re fine with. If the border could be avoided along the sidelines, that would be great for us, but we understand that we’re a cooperative organization, and there’s been so much cooperation between the two organizations that this is a small thing for us to do and it was the right thing to do in terms of choosing the date of the game for the team.”
Kickoff is set for 7 pm Pacific Time from CenturyLink Field. Television coverage can be seen locally on KONG 6/16, regionally on Root Sports and nationally on NBC Sports Network. The second leg will be at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, on Thursday at 6 pm PT.