The Seattle Sounders FC will begin their 2018 season Thursday night when they take on Salvadorian side Santa Tecla FC in game one of the two-legged Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League tournament.
Game two will be in Seattle Thursday night March 1st at CenturyLink Field with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PT. The Sounders will kick off their MLS season four days later on Sunday, March 4th, 2:00 p.m. at CenturyLink Field.
All of that is relevant because the Sounders will play three vital games in ten days. The early congestion fixture will test the Sounders depth. The Sounders are looking to make another impact in the CCL tournament and will be looking for a favorable result Thursday night game at Estadio Las Delicias, Santa Tecla’s home field which seats 10,000 fans.
The Sounders will be looking to use their experienced and talented midfield to control the ball and create chances by pushing the ball up the sidelines. Santa Tecla will look to attack the middle of the Seattle defense with its speed.
Santa Tecla FC qualified for the SCCL tournament after winning the Salvadorian Primera Divison 2016 Apertura and 2017 Clausura championships. The Salvadorian Prime league is broken up into two mini-tournaments.
The Apertura is the first tournament thats starts in August and ends in December with the Clausura the second tournament starting in February and ending July. The top four clubs at the end of the tournaments qualify for the playoffs.
This will be the first time the two clubs have played each other so there is no historical comparison. Senta Tecla did play MLS side FC Dallas to a 1-1 on February 7th in Dallas in a preseason match.
SOUNDERS IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
This is the fifth time the Seattle Sounders have played in the SCCL tournament and reached the quarterfinals in 2011, 2012 and 2016. The Sounders reached the Semifinals in 2016 after beating Mexican side club Tigres. It was the first time an MLS club defeated a Mexican team in the knockout stage.
A total of five MLS have qualified for this years SCCL tournament FC Dallas, New York Red Bulls, Colorado Rapids, Toronto FC and the Sounders.