The Sounders returned to training today, preparing for their Saturday match against New York City FC. All regular players are reported healthy, while the rehab of central defender Roman Torres (knee) continues on schedule.
And that training took place behind the privacy fence that had been installed at Starfire for visiting Copa America teams, but which coach Sigi Schmid now says he hopes remains.
“I like it,” he said. “We’d like to see it stay. It just gives us a more enclosed feeling at training and allows for more concentrated work. … We’ve asked for it to stay. I don’t make those final decisions – that’s above my play grade.”
The club had no immediate word on whether the screens will stay or go.
NYCFC’s first visit to Seattle will take place at fully opened CenturyLink Field and before an ESPN audience. The club also announced these plans for the day:
Seattle Sounders FC is celebrating the club's second annual Pride Day on Saturday, June 25 during a nationally televised match against New York City FC (2:00 p.m. PT / ESPN, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM). Sounders FC players are set to appear in the community this week to promote messages of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer pride, as the club also prepares for its first of five full-season matches of the season at CenturyLink Field.
Sounders FC players Brad Evans and Stefan Frei are set to greet fans for "Cupcakes in the Square" this afternoon, where the pair will hand out Pride-themed cupcakes in Pioneer Square and at the Ferry Terminal from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. PT.
On Thursday, June 23, Jordan Morris will be signing autographs at 356 Denny Way in Queen Anne from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. PT. Alonso and Morris are set to be on site with a custom "wild posting" installation as part of the current Sounders FC advertising campaign. The players are available to sign printed posters only available for giveaway at the Queen Anne location. Fans in and around the Seattle area are encouraged to find other Sounders FC poster locations in Queen Anne, Rainier Valley, West Seattle, Capitol Hill and Ballard and utilize location-specific Snapchat geo-filters to tag themselves at these installations. Fans can enter to win gear by using the hashtag #SoundersInSeattle and taking images at the poster locations through Sunday for further social media engagement.
Sounders FC is proud to welcome Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to receive a Golden Scarf during a pre-match ceremony on June 25. He will also be the featured guest on this week's edition of Sound of Soccer, the club's official podcast. The Aberdeen, Washington native was elected Mayor of Seattle in 2013, becoming the first openly gay mayoral leader of the Emerald City. Since 2009, Sounders FC has honored soccer tradition and community empowerment before select home matches by presenting a Golden Scarf to a group or individual who has made an impact in their community. Last year's Pride Day featured a Golden Scarf presentation to Jason Collins, a 13-year NBA veteran who became one of the first openly gay athletes in a major American team sport when he came out in a cover story for Sports Illustrated in 2013.
Additional aspects of the pre-match ceremonies include members of the LGBTQ community displaying rainbow flags and banners on the field, with participants wearing a special Sounders FC Pride Day shirt. Saturday's national anthem singer is singer / songwriter Vicci Martinez, a Tacoma native who finished third in the NBC singing competition The Voice in 2011. Prior to the anthem, a moment of silence will be observed to honor the victims of the June 12 shooting in Orlando and their families.
Other matchday festivities include a giveaway of 50,000 pride flags to fans upon entering the gates, while Sounders FC captain Brad Evans is once again set to wear a Pride-themed armband throughout the match against New York City FC (Editor's note: Images of the armband from last season's Pride Match can be found in the media resources section above). Further Pride-themed elements during the nationally televised contest include customized rainbow corner flags, LED graphics and Xbox Green Zone flags. Additionally, a limited quantity of Sounders FC pride scarves and other apparel will be sold at the stadium Pro Shop on Saturday.
Fans are also invited to come to a pre-match party from 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. PT at The NINETY, Sounders FC's event space located at the club's Pioneer Square headquarters (406 Occidental Avenue S.). The club will have Pride-themed cupcakes available on a first-come, first-serve basis, a photo booth, as well as beer available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the club's community partners.
Sounders FC has proven to be a dominant host when playing in front of large crowds on its home turf. With crowds surpassing 45,000 or more, Sounders FC holds a record of 15-2-3, including postseason play. The June 25 match is Seattle's first of five full-stadium matches in 2016, with the CenturyLink Field's full capacity open for New York City FC's first MLS visit to the Emerald City. Single-match tickets for the contest are now available via SoundersFC.com, while four-match packs for the remaining full-stadium games are also available on the club's official website or by calling (877) MLS-GOAL. Starting at $25 per seat, the four-match pack includes tickets to each of the remaining full-stadium fixtures for the best possible value.
As part of a promotion with the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), the largest LGBT and allied chamber of commerce in North America, fans can purchase tickets to Pride Day for $22, with $3 going back to the GSBA Scholarship Fund. Sounders FC has committed to match up to $5,000 of the funds raised to support GSBA Scholars. Those interested can take advantage of this promotion via the following link: http://sndrs.com/qyll and using the code "GSBA16" at checkout. Additionally, a check will be presented to GSBA Scholars during pre-match ceremonies.
Seattle Sounders FC (5-8-1, 16 points) returns home following a road loss to the New York Red Bulls to host New York City FC for the first time at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. PT with a nationally-televised broadcast on ESPN.