The off-season is behind us. The preseason is behind us. And today the Sounders begin their fouth season with what just might be the most important game in club history.
SANTOS LAGUNA AT SOUNDERS FC7 p.m., CenturyLink Field.TV: Fox Soccer. RADIO: 97.3-FM.HEAD TO HEAD: First meeting. NOTES: This is the first of a two-game, aggregate-score CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series. Road goals will count as the first tie-breaker. … The series winner will advance to the semifinals against the Los Angeles-Toronto winner. … The eventual CCL winner advances to the FIFA Club World Cup where six continental winners and the host nation champions play for the title of best soccer club in the world. … No MLS club has ever won Champions League. However, Salt Lake advanced to the final last season, where it lost to Monterrey. … Santos advanced by winning its group with 13 points, the most of any team in the group stage of this competition. Along the way, they outscored the Colorado Rapids, 6-1, over two legs. Santos also led the competition with 16 goals, five more than its nearest competitor. … Santos is in fourth place in the Mexican Claustra at 5-2-2. Seattle begins its MLS season on March 17 with a home match against Toronto. … Fredy Montero is Seattle’s all-time leading scorer in CCL, with four goals and three assists. Oribe Peralta leads Santos with four goals in this tournament. … Seattle defender Zach Scott is unavailable due to a yellow card suspension carrying over from the group stage. … The Sounders will wear their new bright blue “Super Cyan” alternate kits. … New Sounders broadcast voice Ross Fletcher will make his radio debut tonight. … Plenty of tickets remain available.QUOTABLE: “We don’t want to give up a goal at home because away goals count double. We want to make sure that we play well defensively. We want to get as much of a cushion as we can possibly, in terms of scoring goals.” – Sounders coach Sigi Schmid.NEXT: The series resolves at 5 p.m. March 14 in Torreon, Mexico.