The Sounders return to Starfire today, preparing for their MLS regular season opener Saturday night against Montreal. I'll post some new notes and quotes here after that session. Until then, here is some preview information from the club:
Seattle Sounders FC kicks off its fifth season in Major League Soccer on Saturday night against the Montreal Impact. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Saturday's match against the Impact will be broadcast locally on KING-5 with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller on the call. Pregame coverage begins at 7 p.m. The game can also be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM and in Spanish on La Gran D 99.3 FM. Sounders FC returned home on Sunday from a 13-day stay in Tucson, Ariz. as Desert Diamond Cup champions, winning all four matches while outscoring opponents 7-1. Alex Caskey and Mario Martinez led the team with two goals in the four-game tournament, and the goalkeeper tandem of Michael Gspurning and Marcus Hahnemann did not allow a goal in 437 minutes of preseason play.
Four more training sessions remain for Sounders FC before Saturday's season opener - the earliest start in club history. Head coach Sigi Schmid opened training camp just over one month ago on January 21, and the team has since spent 22 days training in Arizona, playing six preseason matches (4-1-1) and holding nearly 20 training sessions. Montreal visits Seattle for the first time after joining the league last season. Sounders FC dropped the previous meeting, 4-1 at Stade Saputo last June. It will be the first MLS match for Montreal head coach Marco Schallibaum following 15 years playing and 16 years coaching in Switzerland. The match against Montreal will be the first of six in the month of March for Seattle. Just four days after the opener, Sounders FC will visit Monterrey, Mexico, for the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series versus Tigres. The series will conclude in Seattle on March 12. Leading up to the opener, Sounders FC will host several events in Seattle. On Wednesday evening at the Cinerama, adidas and Sounders FC players will reveal the new primary and secondary kits for the 2013 season. On Thursday, players and coaches will join fans in the fourth annual Kickoff Luncheon at CenturyLink Field. Single-match tickets are available through www.SoundersFC.com, all Ticketmaster Outlets, CenturyLink Field Box Office or by calling 800-745-3000. Ticket availability on a match-by-match basis is limited.