The Sounders remain in Tucson for a busy week of training that will include three friendlies. Here's a look ahead from the club:
Seattle Sounders FC will open its fifth season of Major League Soccer in (11) days. But before the songs and chants of supporters at CenturyLink Field, the Rave Green will play three more preseason matches in Arizona, culminating with the 2013 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup final on Saturday.
Sounders FC rolled to victories last week in its opening matches of the Desert Diamond Cup preseason tournament against New England and Real Salt Lake, highlighted by beautiful strikes from Eddie Johnson and Mario Martinez. Seattle has already clinched a spot in the championship game with one group stage match remaining. The final matches of the group stage will be played Wednesday evening at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. New England and Real Salt Lake will face off in the early game with Seattle taking on the New York Red Bulls in the late match. Kickoff for Seattle's match is set for 6 p.m. PT (7 p.m. local) and will be streamed live on SoundersFC.com. Before the team plays in the final, head coach Sigi Schmid will prepare his squad for the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against UANL Tigres with a friendly on Friday evening versus Veracruz. Kickoff for the friendly is 6 p.m. PT (7 p.m. local) at Kino Sports Complex North Field #5 and admission is free. There will be a live blog of the match on SoundersFC.com. Saturday's Cup final will be broadcast nationwide on NBC Sports Network with kickoff scheduled for 5 p.m. PT (6 p.m. local) at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. Seattle will learn its opponent following Wednesday's games.
Fans can purchase tickets to the Desert Diamond Cup by visiting www.FCTucson.ticketsocket.com. Sounders FC will return to Seattle on February 24, just one week before the season opener against the Montreal Impact on March 2 at CenturyLink Field. The two-leg Champions League series against UANL Tigres will kick off on March 6 in Monterrey and conclude in Seattle on March 12.
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Three in Four The pace will pick up for Sounders FC this week as the club enters its match heavy portion of preseason training with three games in a four-day span. In Wednesday's match against New York, head coach Sigi Schmid plans to use a reserve lineup as he expects starters to go 90 minutes on Friday against Veracruz in preparation for the CONCACAF Champions League series against Tigres. The busy stretch will conclude on Saturday evening on national television as Sounders FC will play in the Cup final.