The Sounders left early because of the Midwest weather. As I write this, the Bridgeview, Ill., forecast calls for a chance of rain -- which the Sounders should be used to by now -- but also for a high of 88 -- which would be by far the hottest conditions they've faced this season.
“It’s part of the process," coach Sigi Schmid said before the team flew out. "We’re going to play some warm-weather games. We go down to Houston we go down to Dallas when it’s going to be super-hot and super-muggy. It’s something we’ve just got to get used to. It’s one of the reasons I decided to go a day earlier. Last year we went to Chicago the day before the game. This allows us to train in it for at least a day so we can maybe get the (shock) out of our system a day early than have it be the day of the game.”
As for the rain, here's a note from the club about how wet it's been:
Wherever they go, Sounders FC seems to pull water from the sky. rain has fallen on each of seattle's last five matches and nine altogether. That might be expected during springtime in the pacific northwest, yet the heaviest rainfall has occurred on the road, namely downpours at Philadelphia, Columbus and Real Salt Lake. The latter was most surprising since Salt Lake City averages only 16.50 inches of precipitation per year. Seattle is tied for ninth (37.07 inches) in annual precipitation amongst MLS cities; New York is first (49.69), and Vancouver has the most days of rain or snow (165). The extended forecast for Saturday in the Chicago area calls for a chance of thunderstorms.
Perhaps surprisingly, this is just fine with Sounders forward Fredy Montero.
"I think it’s not really a problem for us," he said this week through a translator. "We play in the rain all the time. If all the games are rainy it would be fine."