2004 Apr 20

From today's Sounders news release:

The Seattle Sounders celebrate thirty years of soccer

2004 season kicks off with legendary players honored at home matches

(Seattle, Wash.) - - The Seattle Sounders today announced plans to celebrate thirty years of soccer throughout the 2004 season. During seven Saturday home matches, the team will honor Sounders soccer legends from previous seasons.

In 1974, The Seattle Sounders played their first match in Memorial Stadium. Defender Jimmy Gabriel played during the inaugural match; Gabriel will be the first soccer legend to be honored during the season long celebration.

"The Sounders have been a part of the Seattle community for almost thirty years," said Adrian Hanauer, general manager of Seattle Sounders. "We start the 2004 season top-ranked among A-League teams and invite everyone to come out, root for the team, and honor our former Sounders."

Other players in the soccer legends lineup include John Best, head coach from 1974-1976; Chance Fry, forward from 1982, 1994-1998; Jeff Stock, defender from 1978-1983; Pepe Fernandez, forward from 1974-1976 and in 1981; midfielder Peter Hattrup, 1994-1995, 1999, and 2001; Dave Gillet, defender from 1974-1980. The Sounders will also honor former TV announcer, Cliff McGrath.

The Sounders have established four goals for the 2004 season. The Sounders are looking to capture the franchise's third A-League title, go undefeated at home, earn a U.S. Open Cup semi-final birth, and post 14 shutouts on opposing teams this season.

With the core of 2003's roster returning for 2004, the Sounders have added several players to a competitive roster. Midfielder Billy Sleeth joins the club from the Major League Soccer Colorado Rapids. Midfielder Robbie Aristodemo joins the 2004 Sounders squad after three seasons with the Toronto Lynx by way of the San Diego Sockers indoor soccer franchise. After a prolific goal scoring career in MLS, Welton just finished a soccer season in Norway with Fredrikstad FK. With a striker's goal scoring mentality, Welton will create some excitement for Sounders fans this summer. The combination of quality veterans and improving young players should equal great results.

On May 8th, the Sounders play their home opener at Seahawks Stadium against A-League newcomer, the Edmonton Aviators.