Seattle Sounders FC is taking schedule congestion to a whole new level.
Not only does the Wednesday home match with the Colorado Rapids come in the middle of a three-game stretch over nine days, but it’s also the second game of an unusual kind of doubleheader: two games by two Sounders FC teams in two stadiums on the same day.
The Sounders’ MLS game at CenturyLink Field will kick off six hours after Sounders 2 begins its U.S. Open Cup match against Portland Timbers 2 at 1 p.m. at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila. (The game will be streamed at SoundersFC.com.)
The timing should work for fans hoping to attend both matches — although things would get tighter if the Open Cup game goes to extra time and penalty kicks. However, Sounders FC had hoped to avoid having both clubs play on the same day.
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“We wanted to get the S2 game on Tuesday,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. “But U.S. Soccer (mandates) both clubs need to agree to it. So obviously Portland didn’t agree to it. It becomes a Wednesday game unless both clubs agree to (a change). So now it’s a little bit harder.”
Sounders 2 and Timbers 2 are meeting in the Open Cup’s third round. The winner will go on to face Real Salt Lake of MLS in the fourth round.
S2 is 6-3-1 in the USL regular season, while T2 is 3-4-2. The teams have met twice already in USL play, with S2 winning 2-1 at Starfire and 2-0 in Portland.
The Sounders and Rapids also have met already this season. Seattle won that match in Colorado, 3-1, behind a pair of goals by Lamar Neagle of Federal Way.
“We’re going to try to be solid again and not make silly mistakes in the back,” Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei said. “We’re going to worry more about our own game. Colorado, you saw in this league with the parity, who knows, maybe they have some confidence from that.”
The Rapids rank last in the MLS Western Conference even though they haven’t lost since that April 18 game with the Sounders. Since then, they played four 1-1 draws before taking a 1-0 win over Vancouver on Saturday.
“Colorado’s confident with their win at home this past week,” Schmid said. “It’s a good thing that we’ve played them before. They have a number of new players, so our guys know what they look like. They’re on the same rhythm as us in terms of (playing last Saturday), so we’ll see what it brings.”