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Sounders FC News & Notes

February 25, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Seattle Sounders FC

Season Five Starts Saturday at CenturyLink Field

Seattle Sounders FC kicks off its fifth season in Major League Soccer on Saturday night against the Montreal Impact. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

Saturday's match against the Impact will be broadcast locally on KING-5 with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller on the call. Pregame coverage begins at 7 p.m. The game can also be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM and in Spanish on La Gran D 99.3 FM.

Sounders FC returned home on Sunday from a 13-day stay in Tucson, Ariz. as Desert Diamond Cup champions, winning all four matches while outscoring opponents 7-1. Alex Caskey and Mario Martinez led the team with two goals in the four-game tournament, and the goalkeeper tandem of Michael Gspurning and Marcus Hahnemann did not allow a goal in 437 minutes of preseason play.

Four more training sessions remain for Sounders FC before Saturday's season opener - the earliest start in club history. Head coach Sigi Schmid opened training camp just over one month ago on January 21, and the team has since spent 22 days training in Arizona, playing six preseason matches (4-1-1) and holding nearly 20 training sessions.

Montreal visits Seattle for the first time after joining the league last season. Sounders FC dropped the previous meeting, 4-1 at Stade Saputo last June. It will be the first MLS match for Montreal head coach Marco Schallibaum following 15 years playing and 16 years coaching in Switzerland.

The match against Montreal will be the first of six in the month of March for Seattle. Just four days after the opener, Sounders FC will visit Monterrey, Mexico, for the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series versus Tigres. The series will conclude in Seattle on March 12.

Leading up to the opener, Sounders FC will host several events in Seattle. On Wednesday evening at the Cinerama, adidas and Sounders FC players will reveal the new primary and secondary kits for the 2013 season. On Thursday, players and coaches will join fans in the fourth annual Kickoff Luncheon at CenturyLink Field.

Single-match tickets are available through www.SoundersFC.com, all Ticketmaster Outlets, CenturyLink Field Box Office or by calling 800-745-3000. Ticket availability on a match-by-match basis is limited.

Sounders FC Competition Schedule (all times Pacific; subject to change)

Saturday, March 2 - Sounders FC vs. Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. kickoff, Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field, Seattle

Wednesday, March 6 - CONCACAF Champions League: Sounders FC at Tigres UANL, 7 p.m. kickoff, Estadio Universitario, Monterrey, Mexico (leg one)

Tuesday, March 12 - CONCACAF Champions League: Sounders FC vs. Tigres UANL, 7 p.m. kickoff, Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field, Seattle (leg two)

Saturday, March 16 - Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers - 5 p.m. kickoff, Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field, Seattle

Saturday, March 23 - Sounders FC at San Jose Earthquakes - 7:30 p.m. kickoff, Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.

Saturday, March 30 - Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake Â-- 6 p.m. kickoff, Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah

MLS Season Credential Pick-up

Media members who have been approved for a full-season MLS credential may pick it up at Sounders FC training this week or at the front desk at VMAC by prior arrangement through the Sounders FC communications department.

Kickoff Time Changes

The kickoff time for Seattle's October 19 match at FC Dallas has been changed to 12 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Network. The game was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. PT. As a reminder, Seattle's home match against the Montreal Impact will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. The March 16 home game against the Portland Timbers is set for 5 p.m. PT and will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

The Boys are Back

Sounders FC enters season five as one of the league top teams, consistently finishing the regular season strong and qualifying for the MLS Cup Playoffs the past four years - just one of three teams to do so. Seattle is set to play a 34-game regular-season schedule, facing each Western Conference side three times with just a single meeting against East foes. Sounders FC will play at least 37 matches across all competitions this year, including the two-leg CONCACAF Champions League series against Tigres and the opening round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Seattle side could play as many as 51 matches in the 2013 calendar year.

All The Rave

With the start of the season comes the opportunity for Sounders FC supporters to once again raise the bar for MLS fandom. The crowds at CenturyLink Field have continued to grow every season, setting league attendance records each year with 69 consecutive sellouts. Several Sounders FC players, including Shalrie Joseph, Djimi Traore and DeAndre Yedlin, will soon experience the sights and sounds firsthand.

Seattle Attendance Records

Year Attendance Average

2012 43,144

2011 38,498

2010 36,173

2009 30,897

March On

The opening month of the season is packed with matches - a welcomed sight by Seattle supporters. The club will play six games over the next four weeks, beginning with the opener on Saturday night and concluding with the March 30 away game at Real Salt Lake. Three games will be played at CenturyLink Field as the team will travel to Monterrey, Mexico, Santa Clara, Calif., and Sandy, Utah, for road contests. Not only does the march towards the Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup begin this month, but the club will also look to advance past Tigres in the CONCACAF Champions League and start strong in the Cascadia Cup with the opening match against the Portland Timbers on March 16.

Starting in Seattle

For the fifth straight year, Sounders FC will open its regular season campaign at home with Saturday's matchup against the Montreal Impact. Seattle is 3-1 in season openers with an 8-2 goals advantage. Fredy Montero started it off in the inaugural match in 2009 with two goals. Brad Evans has twice scored on opening night and forward David Estrada became the third player in league history to record a hat trick on opening day when he scored three on Toronto FC last year.

Seattle Season Openers

Year Opponent Result (Attendance) Scoring Summary

3/19/09 New York Red Bulls W, 3-0 (32,608) SEA: Montero (11', 75') Evans (25')

3/25/10 Philadelphia Union W, 2-0 (36,241) SEA: Evans (12'), Montero (43')

3/15/11 LA Galaxy L, 1-0 (36,433) LA: Juninho (58')

3/17/12 Toronto FC W, 3-1 (39,232) SEA: Estrada (17', 51', 63');

TOR: Johnson (62')

Offseason Transactions

Sounders FC coaches and management have had a busy offseason. The team has brought in six players, including four defenders and two midfielders, while six players have departed, most notably Fredy Montero and Jeff Parke. Seattle has also acquired five draft picks, allocation money and moved up in the Allocation order to No. 3, and has traded an international roster spot and its No. 15 Allocation ranking.

December 1

Waived GK Bryan Meredith, MF Michael Seamon, DF Daniel Steres and GK Andrew Weber.

December 7

Traded DF Jeff Parke to Philadelphia Union in exchange for allocation money and 2013 first round Supplemental Draft pick.

December 13

Re-signed DF Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and DF Patrick Ianni.

January 11

Signed DF DeAndre Yedlin as club's first Homegrown Player.

January 17

Selected Two players in 2013 MLS SuperDraft: FW/DF Eriq Zavaleta (Indiana; 10th overall) and DF Dylan Remick (Brown; 35th overall).

January 21

Loaned FW Fredy Montero to Millonarios of Colombia. Signed to multi-year contract extension with Sounders FC.

January 27

Acquired MF Lamar Neagle from Montreal Impact in exchange for international roster spot through end of 2014 season.

February 19

Acquired MF Shalrie Joseph, the No. 3 Allocation ranking, a 2014 natural second round SuperDraft pick and a 2015 natural second round SuperDraft pick from Chivas USA in exchange for No. 15 Allocation ranking. Joseph occupies a Designated Player slot for Seattle.

February 20

Acquired a 2014 first round Supplemental Draft pick and a conditional 2015 draft pick from Portland Timbers in exchange for the rights to DF Mikael Silvestre.

February 22

Signed DF Dylan Remick.

February 23

Signed DF Djimi Traore.

Sounders FC Roster

Goalkeepers (3): Josh Ford, Michael Gspurning, Marcus Hahnemann.

Defenders (11): Marc Burch, Andrew Duran, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Adam Johansson, Dylan Remick, Zach Scott, Djimi Traore, DeAndre Yedlin, Eriq Zavaleta.

Midfielders (11): Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Alex Caskey, Brad Evans, Mario Martinez, Lamar Neagle, Mauro Rosales, Andy Rose, Shalrie Joseph, Christian Tiffert, Steve Zakuani.

Forwards (4): David Estrada, Eddie Johnson, Sammy Ochoa, Babayele Sodade.

*Players currently under contract

Two Vets and a Rookie

Sounders FC has always featured a good balance of veteran leadership and young talent, and the club added three players to the mix last week. Seattle signed eight-time MLS All-Star Shalrie Joseph and UEFA Champions League winner Djimi Traore, as well as SuperDraft selection Dylan Remick.

Joseph, 34, is a four-time MLS Best XI player and eight-time All-Star. The finalist for the 2009 MLS MVP, Joseph has made 273 appearances with 39 goals and 35 assists. He joined Chivas USA in a midseason trade last year after 10 seasons with the New England Revolution. A former member of the Grenada National Team, Joseph was twice named Grenada's Footballer of the Year (2003 and 2008) and was named the 2007 Caribbean Player of the Year. He has earned 20 caps with one goal in international play.

Traore, 32, played professionally for 16 years in Europe, including seven seasons for English Premier League side Liverpool. Traore becomes the first UEFA Champions League winner to join Sounders FC, beating Milan in a penalty shootout in the 2005 final. He most recently played for Marseille in France, making 11 appearances from 2011-12 and winning the 2012 Coupe de la Ligue title. Traore began his career for Laval of France in 1996. After three seasons, he signed with Liverpool where he played from 1999-2006. Traore made 150 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool, including 88 in the English Premier League. He was the first Malian player to win the UEFA Champions League, and he also won the 2006 FA Cup, 2005 Super League and the 2003 English League Cup.

Remick, a 21-year-old defender, was a First-Team All-Ivy selection from 2010-12 at Brown University. Seattle selected him with its second pick (35th overall) in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. Remick helped Brown qualify for the NCAA tournament three straight years, including two Sweet 16 appearances, and won the Ivy League title as a junior. He paced a Brown defense that tied team's all-time single-season record for shutouts (11) in each of three straight seasons (2010-12).

Champions of the Desert

Sounders FC wrapped up the preseason as champions of the 2013 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup. Seattle defeated New England, New York and Salt Lake in group play, and ousted Real Salt Lake in the final, outscoring its opponents 7-1.

The tournament began with a 2-nil win over the Revs as Seattle's US National Team players each scored, beginning with Brad Evans first-half penalty followed by Eddie Johnson's sensational strike just before the halftime whistle. Three days later, Mario Martinez's long-range volley proved the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake. Martinez scored his second goal of the tournament the following week in a 2-0 win in the snow over the Red Bulls, and the club concluded the tournament with a 1-0 win over RSL in the final. Alex Caskey scored the game-winner in the championship match - his second of the tournament - as Seattle raised the third annual Desert Diamond Cup.

Desert Diamond Cup Results

Date Opponent Result Scoring Summary

Feb. 13 New England W, 2-0 SEA: Evans 27', Johnson 45'

Feb. 16 Real Salt Lake W, 2-1 SEA: Martinez 66', Lund 69'; RSL: Sterzer 86'

Feb. 20 New York Red Bulls W, 2-0 SEA: Caskey 36', Martinez 78'

Feb. 23 Real Salt Lake W, 1-0 SEA: Caskey 51'

Preseason Friendlies

Date Opponent Result Scoring Summary

Feb. 5 Portland Timbers L, 1-0 POR: Silvestre 61'

Feb. 22 Veracruz D, 0-0 N/A

Series Notes

Saturday's match will mark the second MLS meeting between the two teams, but Seattle and Montreal have plenty of history. In the lone league match, Sounders FC fell to the Impact, 4-1 at Stade Saputo on June 16. Eddie Johnson scored Seattle's only goal as Patrice Bernier recorded three assists and current Sounders FC midfielder Lamar Neagle scored the fourth and final goal.

The Sounders faced the Impact a number of times at the USL and NASL levels, as well. Most notably, Seattle lost to Montreal, 2-0, on September 18, 2004 in the USL final. A year later, the Sounders advanced past Montreal in a two-leg semifinal series. The two sides drew, 2-2, in the first leg in Seattle (September 23, 2005) and won, 2-1, in the second leg in Montreal two days later on a 90th minute game-winner from Roger Levesque. The Sounders went on to win the USL championships that year, beating Richmond on penalties. The last time the Sounders were represented in the USL was September 28, 2008 in a 3-1 loss at Montreal.

About Montreal

The Impact finished its inaugural season seventh in the East and 12th overall (12-16-6, 42 points). Ten of the team's 12 wins last year came at home as the Impact went just 2-12-3 on the road with a -18 goal differential. Montreal struggled to start its first MLS season, going 0-4-1 through the first five matches. The Canadian club should be somewhat used to the large crowd at CenturyLink Field, finishing third in average attendance at 22,772 in 2012.

Impact Notables

Head coach Marco Schallibaum enters his first season in MLS and will look to guide the Impact to its first MLS Cup Playoffs appearance. Italian internationals Alessandro Nesta and Marco Di Vaio return for their first full season with the club. Midfielder Patrice Bernier led the attack with nine goals and eight assists last season, and Felipe Martins added 10 assists with four goals. The top pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, forward Andrew Wenger, rejoins the team along with veteran midfielder Davy Arnaud. Former Sounders FC midfielder Sanna Nyassi enters his second season in Montreal. Goalkeeper Troy Perkins joined the team in a midseason trade with the Portland Timbers and allowed just eight goals in nine games (0.89 goals against average).

Sounders FC to Reveal New Kits on Wednesday

Sounders FC will reveal its new 2013 primary and secondary kits on Wednesday, February 27 at the Cinerama in downtown Seattle. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with the adidas kit reveal, featuring several Sounders FC players and representatives from adidas. Following the event, media are invited to attend a special 3D screening of Disney's OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL. The movie is produced by Sounders FC owner Joe Roth and opens in U.S. theatres on March 8, 2013. Members of the media must RSVP to Myron Beck at MyronB@SeahawksSoundersFC.com .

Sounders FC Kit History

Year Primary Secondary Third

2009 Rave Green Sounder Blue None

2010 Rave Green Sounder Blue Electricity

2011 Rave Green Cascade Shale Electricity

2012 Rave Green Cascade Shale Super Cyan

Kickoff Luncheon on Thursday

Sounders FC will host the fourth annual Kickoff Luncheon at CenturyLink Field on Thursday, February 28 from 12:30-1:45 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to meet players, coaches and members of the Sounders FC broadcast team, Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller, in addition to supporting the club's charity partners. Guests will sit with Sounders FC players, coaches, and team executives.

Fans attending the lunch are also invited to attend the Sounders FC training session from 11-11:30 a.m. The session will be followed by a question/answer session with members of the front office. Tables of 10 include eight guests, plus two Sounders FC personnel (players, coaches, or team executives). Each table costs $800 and individual tickets are available for $100.

Proceeds from the Kickoff Luncheon ticket sales and silent auction will benefit the five Sounders FC charity partners including: America SCORES Seattle, Boys & Girls Clubs (King Co. & Bellevue), Special Olympics Washington, Washington Global Health Alliance and Washington Youth Soccer.

For more information visit http://www.soundersfc.com/kickoffluncheon .

Throw-ins

Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and defender Marc Burch will miss Saturday's match due to suspension. Alonso also missed last year's meeting with Montreal...Sounders FC Academy defender Josh Gehrke has committed to Seattle University and defender Sam Langston has committed to the University of Omaha, bringing the total to 10 Sounders FC Academy players who have committed to colleges for next season...Sounders FC formalized a Fan Loyalty Program using the MatchPass, which features food and beverage discounts. For more information visit MatchPass.SoundersFC.com ...MLS Commissioner Don Garber will be available to media members on Wednesday, February 27 at 3 p.m. PT. The meeting will be streamed live on www.YouTube.com/MLS and www.Google.com/+MLS . Media must contact Communications@MLSsoccer.com to participate...MLS and the French Football Federation (FFF) announced a partnership that will provide MLS youth academy coaches with world class training through a 16-month youth development course and earn their Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL). Sounders FC Director of Youth Development, Darren Sawatzky, is one of eight former MLS players nominated to participate in the program.

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