First Kick Image

The First Kick of 2012

For the first time in club history, the Seattle Sounders FC will be watching the Major League Soccer debut of 2012 instead of playing in the league's First Kick.

For each of the club’s first three seasons, CenturyLink Field played host to MLS First Kick, putting the Sounders FC on center stage as the league kicked off its new season.

In 2012, the Sounders find themselves in the midst of a much more important match in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal meeting with Santos Laguna.  Seattle took a 2-1 lead in the aggregate-goal series on Wednesday night at CenturyLink and will play the second leg this Wednesday night in Torreon, Mexico.

That left the team open on opening weekend, free to sit back and watch the rest of the league battle it out.

“I’m excited,” head coach Sigi Schmid laughed.  “To me this is the greatest weekend ever.  We don’t have a game.  I get to watch soccer all weekend.  This is fantastic.”

There are plenty of highlight matches from the opening weekend, including a rematch of the Western Conference Finals  between the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake Saturday at 7:30. 

The Montreal Impact will also make their MLS debut in Vancouver against the Whitecaps with plenty of local intrigue, as Sebastien Le Toux will make his debut for the Whitecaps and Tyson Wahl, Lamar Neagle, Mike Fucito, Sanna Nyassi and Miguel Montano all could feature for the Impact.

While the San Jose-New England matchup may not have the appeal of some of the other matchups, it will likely mark the MLS debut of Federal Way native Kelyn Rowe while Seattle’s Ellis McLoughlin and Tacoma’s Joey Gjertsen are both on the San Jose roster.

The big national television opener will be Sunday’s NBC Sports debut of former Sounders play-by-play voice Arlo White, calling the meeting between FC Dallas and the New York Red Bulls.  Kickoff is set for noon Pacific Time from FC Dallas Stadium.

Later that day, James Riley makes his Chivas USA debut hosting the defending Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo.

Finally, the Portland Timbers host the Philadelphia Union on ESPN2 on Monday night at 6:30 pm Pacific. 

Seattle will be joined by Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire in watching idly this weekend.  Waiting to start the season is just fine for the players, considering what they are focused on.

“For us to miss the first weekend is a bit strange, but it’s way more important what we’re doing now,” defender Jeff Parke said.  “The beginning of the season can hold off for a little bit.  The season’s long, but the beginning of the season is a strange one this year.”

The Sounders will kick off their MLS season next Saturday, March 17 against Toronto FC at CenturyLink Field.  The second leg of their Champions League meeting with Santos Laguna will be Wednesday at 5 pm (Pacific Time).  Seattle holds a 2-1 lead in the aggregate-goal series.

Blackout rules may apply.

Saturday, March 10

Match Time National TV Local TV Online
Vancouver vs. Montreal 6 pm ET

None (US only)
Colorado vs. Columbus 6 pm ET


Altitude (COL)
FS Ohio (CLB)
D.C. United vs. Sporting KC 7:30 pm ET


Comcast Sportsnet (DC)
San Jose vs. New England 10:30 pm ET


Comcast Sportsnet (SJ)
Comcast Sportsnet (NE)
BO: None
LA vs. Real Salt Lake 10:30 pm ET


BO: None

Sunday, March 11

Match Time National TV Local TV Online
Dallas vs. New York 3 pm ET

None (Canada only)
Chivas USA vs. Houston 7 pm ET

Prime Ticket (CHV) (Canada only)

Monday, March 12

Match Time National TV Local TV Online
Portland vs. Philadelphia 9:30 pm ET


(Canada only)