Sounders Insider

Saturday -- and new season -- comes: Sounders-SKC

SportingKCThe 19th season for MLS and the sixth season for Seattle Sounders FC kicks off today at noon at CenturyLink Field.

We provided lots of Sounders and MLS season-preview coverage in this morning's paper. Below, some basics on the match:

SPORTING KANSAS CITY AT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC Noon Saturday, CenturyLink FieldTV: NBCSN. RADIO: 97.3 FM.HEAD TO HEAD: The Sounders lead the seres 6-1-1 and 2-1-1 in Seattle. Seattle is unbeaten (6-0-1) over the last seven meetings including four game-winners in stoppage time. This is the only scheduled meeting this season.NOTES: This is the first game of the new MLS season. Seattle is 3-2 in its previous openers, all at home. … Sporting Kansas City is the defending MLS Cup champion. SKC went 17-10-7 in the 2013 regular season, while Seattle went 15-12-7. … The game is expected to be played with replacement referees due to a failure to reach a collective bargaining agreement. … Longtime backup goalkeeper Eric Kronberg takes over the starting goalkeeper spot, replacing the retired Jimmy Nielsen. … Newly acquired Sounders forward Tristan Bowen (quad) is the only player for either team listed as out due to injury. … The Sounders went 6-0-3 in their preseason matches; SKC went 5-1-1. QUOTABLE: “Kansas City presents a great opportunity. It’s not a challenge, it’s an opportunity because it gives us a chance to play against the defending MLS Cup champions. It gets us a chance to measure ourselves.” – Sounders coach Sigi SchmidNEXT: Toronto FC, 1:30 p.m. March 15, CenturyLink Field.