A quick preview of Thursday's MLS First Kick:
PHILADELPHIA UNIONAT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC6:30 p.m. Thursday, Qwest Field.TV: ESPN2.Radio: 97.3 FM, and in Spanish on 1210 AM.
Head-to-head: First meeting.
Coach Sigi Schmid scouting report: “I think they are going to look to counterattack. I think they are going to be somewhat conservative in their play. … I think they are going to attack from a defensive posture. But I know (their coach) Peter Nowak … likes to attack and so he is going to try to get them forward on the counter and do some things well.”
Notes: This is the first game of Major League Soccer’s 15th season. … Seattle went 12-7-11 last season. This is the inaugural game for the expansion Union. … Nowak captained the expansion Chicago Fire in its 1998 championship season and went on to coach D.C. United and serve as an assistant on the U.S. national team. He favors a 3-5-2 alignment. … Philly will try to become the third MLS expansion team to win its inaugural game. The other two were Chicago and Seattle. … Sounder defender James Riley and Union midfielder Fred are ineligible due to red cards received in their final games of last season. Schmid indicated that Patrick Ianni or Zach Scott would start in Riley’s place. … On Wednesday, the Sounders officially signed midfielders David Estrada, the club's first-round selection in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, and Michael Fucito, a 2009 pick. … For the Sounders, defender Taylor Graham (hamstring strain) and forward Nate Jaqua (pubic symphysis) are listed as questionable. For the Union, midfielder Roger Torres (hamstring strain), forward Sebastien Le Toux (ankle sprain), midfielder Amobi Okugo (knee strain) and Dave Myrie (ankle sprain) are listed as probable. … Le Toux played last season with the Sounders, but he was selected the expansion draft. He is expected to start as an outside forward. Philadelphia forward Danny Mwanga of Oregon State was the No. 1 choice in the recent MLS SuperDraft. Former Real Salt Lake reserve Chris Seitz is expected to start in goal for the Union, veteran Kasey Keller for the Sounders. … This game will mark the debut of Arlo White, the Sounders new radio voice. … The game is sold out. The traditional march to the match will begin at 5:30 from Occidental Park.
Next: 7:30 p.m. April 3, New York Red Bulls, Qwest Field; FSC.