The Sounders return to training today. Until news from that sesson comes in, here are some general notes from the club looking at the week ahead:
Seattle Sounders FC returns to the Pacific Northwest for a Cascadia Cup clash with the Portland Timbers on Sunday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. Sunday's match will be nationally televised on ESPN2 with Adrian Healey, Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas on the call. The match will also be available on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller calling the action. The derby match is expected to be the home debut of U.S. National Team captain Clint Dempsey and will be played in front of more than 66,500 in attendance, which will challenge for the largest soccer attendance in Pacific Northwest history. The crowd will be the largest of the season in MLS, and could rank second all-time for a standalone match. Sounders FC (10-8-4, 34 points) fell to the Houston Dynamo on the road last Saturday, 3-1. Dempsey made his first start and Shalrie Joseph scored his first goal for Seattle as goalkeeper Michael Gspurning returned to the nets for the first time since July 13. The defeat snapped Seattle's four-game (3-0-1) unbeaten streak, marking the first loss in over one month. Sounders FC now sits sixth in the Western Conference, and third in points per game (1.55).
Sounders FC now returns home where its club record nine-game (6-0-3) unbeaten streak is still intact. Seattle has not dropped a home result since the season opener on March 2, and could match the second-longest home unbeaten streak in MLS this season with a win or draw on Sunday. The San Jose Earthquakes hold the season's longest home unbeaten streak at 12 games. Sunday's matchup will be the fourth Cascadia Cup match of the season for Seattle. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC currently lead the regional competition with five points through four games. Seattle (four points) and Portland (three) are second and third, respectively. The Timbers are the current Cup-holders, and Seattle has the home-field advantage this season with four rivalry games at CenturyLink Field. The Portland Timbers (9-3-11, 38 points) earned a 2-1 home win over FC Dallas last Saturday, extending its home unbeaten streak to nine games. The Timbers rank third in the West, and first with 1.65 points per game. Prior to visiting Seattle, Portland will host the Supporters Shield-leading Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night at JELD-WEN Field. A win would catapult the Timbers into a first-place tie with Salt Lake. Following Sunday's meeting with the Timbers, the derby matches will continue with an MLS Reserve League game against Vancouver on Monday. Kickoff for the reserves match is 7 p.m. PT at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash. Sounders FC has rescheduled its reserve league game against Real Salt Lake for Saturday, September 14. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. PT at Starfire Stadium. Seattle concludes the month with a road trip to the Columbus Crew on August 31. Sounders FC will then play three straight at CenturyLink Field, beginning with the September 4 match against Chivas USA.
Single-match tickets to Sounders FC home matches are available through SoundersFC.com, all Ticketmaster Outlets, the CenturyLink Field Box Office or by calling 800-745-3000.