According to a press release, the Sounders' final trip of the regular season this weekend will push them to the top as the most-traveled team in MLS... a not-necessarily-wanted achievement that has also been achieved regularly by the Mariners and Seahawks and the late-great Sonics.
Anyway, I talked to some of the Sounders about that this week. And that is the focus of my story in the Friday paper.
Meanwhile, here's an overview from Sigi Schmid: "Certain teams in our league certainly have an easier time of it travel-wise. Having coached in LA and then in Columbus, I think the travel in Columbus is definitely much easier. Not just the travel time, but that you’re playing more games in your time zone. From that standpoint it’s an advantage. But as with anything, you have to accept what your lot is. We’re in Seattle, so we have to travel."
They're doing it pretty well. The Sounders are 4-5-5 on the road this season, fourth best in the league with Saturday's game at Kansas City to go. Over their last five regular-season road games, they're 3-1-1.
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Here's the Sounders FC release:
Seattle will be wrapping up a demanding stretch of travel in Kansas City. It will be the fourth road game in the last five and eighth in 11 MLS games since July. In September and October, the Sounders FC will have flown more than 25,000 miles, including the trip to Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Open Cup Final.
Two years from now MLS will have three teams in the Pacific Northwest. Portland and Vancouver join the league in 2011. Projected mileage round trip to Portland (290 miles) and Vancouver (238) will level Seattle’s average flight travel with the other MLS clubs. But for now, Sounders FC remains the only team, which means inevitably traveling greater distances than the other clubs.
Based on last season, MLS clubs averaged 31,764 miles per team with New England traveling the farthest (44,940) and Kansas City the shortest (26,790). Sounders FC will travel 46,898 miles this season.
Breaking Down Sounders FC Mileage:
Destination Round Trip Miles
4/4 - Toronto FC 4,140
4/18 - Chivas USA 1,918
5/2 - Chicago Fire 3,474
5/16 - FC Dallas 3,362
5/23 - Colorado 2,072
6/6 – Chivas USA 1,918
6/20 - New York 4,816
8/2 - San Jose 1,418
8/8 - Real Salt Lake 1,402
8/15 - L.A. Galaxy 1,918
8/23 - Houston 3,782
9/12 - D.C. United 4,656
9/26 - New England 4,984
10/3 - Columbus 4,026
10/17 - Kansas City 3,012