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March 9, 2009 at 2:07 PM

I’m back…and it’s snowing

I was thinking how nice it was to be back in Seattle after my vacation to sunny Arizona and then the snow hit. Again. It’s 40 degrees warmer right now at spring training. But the soccer season is upon us, and Phoenix doesn’t have a team! So I’m excited to be back.

Much to get to. First off, the team has confirmed what many of you and I have expected for some time now. There will be a U.S. Open Cup match (qualifying round) against Real Salt Lake on April 28. The match will take place at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, the eventual home of Sounders FC training, and NOT at Qwest Field. It’s a Tuesday night and kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Here’s sort of an explainer on the match and ticket info, courtesy of the team:

“Pre-sale tickets will be offered to season ticket holders before being made available to the general public on March 30th at 10:00 a.m. All tickets are general admission and priced at $15. There will be limited seating capacity.

The top six Major League Soccer teams from 2008 qualified for the Open Cup, while Sounders FC and the other seven MLS teams must qualify to reach the tournament.

If Seattle defeats Salt Lake, it will play the winner of the Colorado Rapids vs. Los Angeles Galaxy for the opportunity to reach the Round of 16. The other play-in bracket features New York Red Bulls at San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas at D.C. United.

In 2008, the United Soccer Leagues Seattle Sounders, en route to the semifinals, shut out two MLS teams, Chivas USA and the Kansas City Wizards. Current Sounders FC goalkeeper Chris Eylander was named player of the tournament after 420 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal. Sounders FC forward Sebastien Le Toux and defender Taylor Graham also played in last year’s run.”

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation’s national championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. It is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world.

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