USL PRO today announced its 2015 regular season schedule, a campaign that sees each of its 24 clubs play 28 matches. S2 begins its season on March 21 and concludes the campaign on September 17. S2 kicks-off its inaugural season with three crucial Western Conference home clashes, including back-to-back Cascadia home tilts against Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (WFC2) on March 29 and Portland Timbers 2 (T2) on April 11. S2 opens its inaugural USL PRO season against defending league champion Sacramento Republic on Saturday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. PST at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila. The club's previously scheduled opener against Portland has been moved to July 24.
"We are very excited about how the schedule turned out. Knowing that we would play Portland on April 11, we had been working on a last-minute change to the schedule that would allow us to open our inaugural season against USL PRO's reigning champion, Sacramento Republic FC," said S2 General Manager Andrew Opatkiewicz. "Over the weekend, Portland requested the schedule change again and Sacramento was interested in coming to Seattle to play on the first day of the season, allowing us to make this change. A three-match homestand beginning with the defending champion - followed by the Whitecaps and Timbers to start our first season in USL PRO - provides our club with an exciting opening slate to begin 2015."
S2 faces Portland and Vancouver four times each throughout the 2015 season, hosting both teams twice. S2 faces WFC2 on March 29 at home for its second match of the season, and T2 on April 11 to conclude S2's opening three-game homestand.
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The Sounders FC First Team is scheduled to play Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Seattle on August 1, with S2 hosting WFC2 the following week on August 8. There are no weekends where both the Sounders FC First Team and S2 play at home. Although the new USL PRO conference alignment allows for inter-conference play, S2 will not play any Eastern Conference teams during the 2015 regular season.
"It's going to be a great atmosphere at that first game. I can't think of a better way to start the season off than against the defending champion," said S2 Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson. "It lets you know where you stand in the league right off the bat and we welcome the challenge."
S2 faces MLS-fielded teams a total of 12 times in the 2015 regular season, and each S2 USL PRO contest is being live-streamed via SoundersFC.com.
2015 S2 season ticket packages, starting at $95, and customizable seven-match ticket packages for $79 are currently available via SoundersFC.com/S2/Tickets, or by calling 877-MLS-GOAL. Single-match tickets and group package details are being made available in the weeks ahead.
Per USL PRO, the top six finishers in each conference will qualify for a four-week postseason. Teams will be seeded one through six in each conference, with the top two seeds receiving first-round byes and the third-seeded team hosting the sixth side, and the fourth-seeded club hosting the fifth-seeded side.
The winner of the No. 3 vs. No. 6 game then travel to face the second seed, and the winner of the No. 4 vs. No. 5 game travels to face the top overall seed. The winners are set to meet in the Eastern and Western Conference Championship games, with the remaining two teams advancing to square-off in the 2015 USL PRO Championship, hosted by the highest remaining seed.
There are a total of six awards to be earned in the 2015 USL PRO season. In addition to the highest honor of 2015 USL PRO Champion awarded to the winner of the league's post-season tournament, USL PRO will officially honor the Eastern Conference and Western Conference champions for both the regular season and the playoffs, as well as the overall USL PRO Regular Season Champion - awarded to the team that earns the most regular season points, similar to the MLS Supporters' Shield.