2003 Jan 23

From today's Sounders news release:

Seattle Sounders Announce 2003 Schedule

Home Matches Played at Seahawks Stadium

(Seattle, WA) The Seattle Sounders today announced their 2003 A-League schedule that begins May 1st and includes 28 regular season matches, with 14 home matches at Seahawks Stadium.

The Sounders begin their tenth season in the United Soccer League's A-League the same way they began the 2002 season, with a home and home series against their I-5 rival, the Portland Timbers, on May 1st and 2nd. May 1st finds the Sounders at PGE Park in Portland, OR. The Friday, May 2nd contest will be the Sounders' home opener at Seahawks Stadium.

The home schedule features one Wednesday night, three Friday night, three Saturday night and seven Sunday evening matches. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday matches begin at 7 p.m. PT with the Sunday evening contests starting at 5 p.m. PT.

"We're excited about our home dates and about playing in Seahawks Stadium," said Sounder general manager Adrian Hanauer. "And our seven Sunday night contests give Mariners fans a chance to watch baseball and then walk across the street to catch a soccer match."

Head coach Brian Schmetzer said, "The stage is set for an exciting season of Sounders soccer in Seahawks Stadium. We're assembling a team with a lot of speed and presence at the net so our fans will be in the middle of lots of action during 2003."

Only Western Conference teams visit Seattle this summer. Those include Pacific Division rivals the Portland Timbers, Vancouver Whitecaps and Calgary Storm. The El Paso Patriots moved to the Western Conference's Central Division and join Milwaukee, Minnesota and Indiana as Seahawks Stadium visitors.

The Sounders home and home series with the Timbers on May 1 and 2 doubles as Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifying with the winner advancing to the next round in June. The Sounders were knocked out of the 2002 Open Cup with a dramatic 4-3 overtime loss to Landon Donovan and the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer.

The playoff structure for the 2003 season has been modified. In 2003, a total of eight A-League teams will qualify for post-season play. The eight teams will be comprised of the top two teams in each of the four divisions. The Division and Conference Finals will each be two-legged, aggregate score series, with the A-League Championship being a single match, to be played on Saturday, September 20th.

The Sounders' complete 2003 schedule can be found here.

Sounders/Seahawks Stadium season ticket packages are on sale. For season, group and individual ticket information phone (800) 796.KICK.