Three games to determine the Premier Development League champion will be played at Starfire Sports Stadium this weekend.
The semifinals begin at 6 p.m. Friday when the Ocala (Florida) Stampede meets New York Red Bulls U-23. That game will be followed at 8 p.m. when Sounders U-23 meets K-W United FC of Ontario, Canada.
The winners will meet for the title at 2 p.m. Sunday.
“We were given the opportunity given by the USL to host it,” said Lane Smith, owner and CEO of Pierce County-based Sounders U-23. “… The team owners decided it was just the right thing to do for our community, to bring it to Starfire, to showcase everything. ... Starfire is obviously a top-notch location to host something like this, and the weather’s going to be great.”
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All three matches will be streamed on www.youtube.com/USLPDL and updated at Twitter.com/USLPDL.
Sounders U-23 advanced by taking the Western Conference title with a 2-1 win at FC Tucson last weekend.
The Pierce County-based club previously reached the national semifinals in 2012 with a team led by DeAndre Yedlin, who went on to play for Sounders FC, become an MLS All-Star and transfer to current club Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League.
Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer also has gotten involved, offering a $25 joint ticket package good for the Friday semifinals as well as the Sounders’ MLS match with Vancouver at 7 p.m. Saturday at CenturyLink Field. Tickets for the PDL games only are available at SoundersU23.com.
Sounders FC says more than 50,000 tickets have been sold for the Vancouver match. … Sounders All-Star forward Clint Dempsey and defender Chad Marshall are expected at training Friday and to be available this weekend. Coach Sigi Schmid indicated that goalkeeper Stefan Frei (shoulder) also could be ready, and that forward Obafemi Martins (leg) is almost ready.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808