The Sounders and Chelsea each have media availabilities today. And Chelsea has that open-to-the-public practice at 6:30 tonight at CenturyLink.
So, I should have more news from both clubs later.
For now, these notes from the Sounder:
While Seattle Sounders FC take a break from league play, English giants and Champions League winners Chelsea FC visit the Pacific Northwest for a friendly on Wednesday evening. A huge crowd and national TV audience will view the match on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
The friendly will be the first match for Chelsea since the memorable night in Munich on May 19 when the Blues captured its first Champions League title. Tickets for the friendly will be available through SoundersFC.com, all Ticketmaster Outlets, CenturyLink Field Box Office or by calling 877-MLS-GOAL.
When Sounders FC (8-5-7, 31 points) returns to MLS action in two weeks, the team will play six games in a 21-day stretch, beginning with a road date at Colorado on July 28 and continuing with a home match against Trinidad's Caledonia in the CONCACAF Champions League as well as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final at Kansas City.
The summer surge has begun for Seattle as the Rave Green has gone unbeaten in the past four MLS games (1-0-3) and six overall (3-0-3). Sounders FC is in sole possession of third place in the Western Conference, and sixth overall in the full table.
Sounders FC earned a comeback road draw at New York on Sunday. Alvaro Fernandez gave Seattle the early lead and, after conceding twice, Fredy Montero brought Seattle level, 2-2, just five minutes after entering the match as a second-half substitute.
Before the cross-country trip to New York, Sounders FC secured a spot in its fourth straight U.S. Open Cup final with a 4-1 win over Chivas USA in the semifinals. Osvaldo Alonso netted a goal and assist as four different Sounders scored. Seattle will visit Kansas City in the final on August 8 as the club attempts to become the first team in the 99-year history of the tournament to win four consecutive Cup titles.
Chelsea will begin preseason preparations against Sounders FC - the first of a four-match U.S. tour. Following the friendly in Seattle, Chelsea will travel to New York to take on French side Paris Saint Germain on July 22 at Yankee Stadium and will face the MLS All-Stars at PPL Park on July 25. The tour will conclude in Miami with a friendly against AC Milan on July 28.
Coming off a dramatic win in the Champions League final, Chelsea also captured England's FA Cup last season. The match marks the second time in four years that the Champions League winners will play Sounders FC after Barcelona visited the Emerald City in 2009.
Following the break in competitive play, Sounders FC will play its final 14 MLS matches against opponents from the West. The team will also play in the Open Cup final as well as Champions League group play.
Welcome, ChelseaChelsea returns to the Emerald City three years to the day of their last visit, but this time the Blues come to Seattle as the English FA Cup holders and UEFA Champions League winners. The English Premier League powerhouse based in Fulham, London, have been FA Cup winners seven times, League Cup winners four times, English champions four times, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup winners twice and UEFA Champions League winners once.
In their previous visit in 2009, Daniel Sturridge and Frank Lampard scored first-half goals as Chelsea prevailed, 2-0, in front of 65,372 fans at CenturyLink Field. The match will be the seventh international friendly for Sounders FC, and the second time in four years that the Champions League winner has visited Sounders FC (Barcelona, 2009).
The friendly will mark Chelsea's fifth visit to Seattle and third to CenturyLink Field. In 2004, the Blues defeated Scotland's Celtic, 4-2, before a crowd of 30,504. The original North American Soccer League Sounders won a friendly, 2-0, at the Kingdome in 1977. Chelsea first toured in 1967, defeating a local amateur side, 5-0, at Memorial Stadium.
Chelsea ConnectionsSteve Zakuani spent his school age years in London following his family's move from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He attended Gladesmore Community School and played in both the Arsenal youth system and Independent Football Academy, both in the English capital. The Australian-born Andy Rose moved to England in his childhood and played for Bristol City Football Club as a youth. The team finished fourth in the FA Youth Premiership and lost in the fifth round of the 2008 FA Youth Cup to Manchester City. Seattle's Eddie Johnson (Fulham) and Mauro Rosales (Ajax) both spent time playing professionally in Europe, as well as Michael Gspurning (Skoda Xanthi) and Adam Johansson (IFK Goteborg).
The NASL Sounders featured a pair of former stars from Chelsea's successful sides in the late Sixties and early Seventies. Tommy Baldwin came to Seattle for the 1975 season, a year after completing a nine-year run at Stamford Bridge. He scored 74 goals and was a member of the FA Cup winners in 1970 (and runners-up in 1967). Alan Hudson, the England international midfielder, starred for Seattle from 1979-82. He was the Sounders captain and helped lead the team to an NASL-record 25 wins in 1980 and the league final in 1982. In 102 appearances he assisted on a team record 48 goals. At Chelsea (1968-74), Hudson joined Baldwin in winning the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1971 over Real Madrid. An injury prevented Hudson from playing in the 1970 FA Cup final.
The Blues RosterChelsea's roster features experienced players that have won trophies for both club and country. Englishman Frank Lampard captained Chelsea in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, and is Chelsea's top scoring midfielder ever, while Czech goalkeeper Peter Cech holds the records for the cleanest sheets and fewest goals conceded in an English top-flight season.
Five players who made it beyond the group stage of EURO 2012 - Ashley Cole, John Terry, Florent Malouda, Raul Meireles and Fernando Torres - will join up during the course of the tour.
Chelsea's newest signings, 21-year-old Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard and 23-year-old German winger Marko Marin will partake in the tour. Hazard was instrumental in achieving the League and Cup double with the French club Lille in the 2010-2011 season, as a result he was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons. His final season at Lille he finished with 20 goals, second-best in Ligue 1. Marin comes from Germany's Werder Bremen, having made 87 Bundesliga appearances with the club while contributing 12 goals. He has 16 caps with the German national side, making two appearances at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
CHELSEA FC ROSTER:Goalkeepers: Petr Cech, Henrique Hilario, Ross Turnbull, Jamal Blackman
Defenders: Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, John Terry, David Luiz, Paulo Ferreira, Gary Cahill, Sam Hutchinson, Todd Kane, Nathaniel Chalobah
Midfielders: Michael Essien, Ramires, Flourent Malouda, Raul Meireles, Frank Lampard, John Mikel Obi, Eden Hazard, Marko Marin, Yossi Benayoun, Josh McEachran, George Saville
Forwards: Romelu Lukaku, Fernando Torres, Gael Kakuta, Kevin De Bruyne, Patrick Bamford, Lucas Piazon