On Saturday, Seattle Sounders FC will host FC Cincinnati at CenturyLink Field to mark the first match of the 2019 MLS Regular Season (7 p.m. PT; FS1, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS). Plenty of excitement abounds for the Rave Green, who return nearly every player from a squad that put together the best half-season in MLS history before a nail-biting exit in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Here are five reasons why you need to go to this match, with tickets still available on Seatgeek, the official ticket partner of Sounders FC.
1. Return of 2009 Heroes + Honoring a Legend
As part of the club’s “10 Years in MLS” year-long celebration, the Sounders are welcoming back a handful of players who were part of the team’s inaugural squad in 2009. Familiar faces like Brad Evans, Patrick Ianni and Sébastien Le Toux will be in the building and will be honored prior to kickoff.
In addition, Sigi Schmid will posthumously be awarded a Golden Scarf. Schmid passed away on Christmas Day, leaving a great legacy within American soccer. The former Sounders boss for seven-and-a-half seasons is the all-time winningest coach in MLS history.
2. First-Choice XI
Full credit to the training and technical staff, as the Sounders are set to open up the season with no glaring injuries. Multiple times over the past several months, players and coaches have emphasized the importance of a strong start in the early going of the campaign. With a healthy squad, the Sounders are in great position to do so. At this stage, it appears the Rave Green are healthier now than any point of the 2018 season.
3. New Kids on the Block
In facing FC Cincinnati, the Sounders will play in the opposition’s inaugural match for the second consecutive year. Last season, the Sounders fell to LAFC in Seattle, and the Sounders will look for a reverse of fortune against the Ohio club. All-time, the Sounders are 3-2-3 in their first match against expansion teams.
- READ: SEAvCIN Preview
4. Jordan Morris
It’s been over a year since Jordan Morris has played in front of his home crowd in an MLS match. The Mercer Island native missed the entire 2018 season with an ACL injury, but he is back and ready to return to the form that earned him Rookie of the Year honors in 2016. Morris, 24, has shown glimpses of his unparalleled speed through preseason and will been counted on to stretch defenses all year long.
5. First Day of School
Every #SoundersMatchday at CenturyLink Field is special, but there’s something unique about the first one each season. After months of dormancy, tens of thousands of supporters pour into the streets of Pioneer Square. Together everyone experiences the thrills they’ve been craving: The first march. The first Boom, Boom, Clap. The first chants and songs. And, hopefully, the first victory of the new campaign.