Sounders Insider

Endless 57-day gap between MLS Cup and training camp finally comes to an end

Congratulations to us all. We've survived our 57 days in the soccer desert between MLS Cup and the start of training camp.

The 2012 season gets under way today -- by one way of reconning, at least -- as several MLS clubs report to training camp.

The Sounders are not among them however -- they'll open their preseason camp on Thursday, when both veterans and newcomers report.

And there could be some even newer newcomers by then, as the MLS Supplemental Draft will be held tomorrow.

Here is a look at some of the off-season transations so far that will shape the coming season.

And here's a note from the Sounders on the start of their new season:

Sounders FC Preseason Training Begins This Week

Seven weeks away from the first competition for Seattle Sounders FC, players begin reporting to Starfire Sports later this week for the start of preseason training. Returnees, newcomers, rookies and trialists are expected to arrive Thursday to begin preparations for the 2012 campaign.

The first training sessions of the New Year will begin at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 19. The team will train at Starfire Sports and conduct fitness tests and meetings at Virginia Mason Athletic Center over the next two weeks. Players and staff depart for training camp in Casa Grande, Arizona on January 30 and return on February 7. Another camp will begin in Bradenton, Florida on February 11.

Seattle is preparing for its earliest start to the competitive season as the Rave Green hosts Mexico's Santos Laguna on March 7 in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. The away leg is March 14 in Torreon, Mexico.

Sounders FC opens the MLS season on March 17 against Toronto FC on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. The match will be televised locally with the Voice of the Sounders FC Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller on the call. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT.

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