Seattle Sounders FC announced Monday that it will host Chelsea FC of the English Premier League in an international friendly July 18 at CenturyLink Field. In anticipation of a high demand for tickets, seating at the Clink will be expanded to include the upper bowl for Chelsea as well as three additional matches against the Los Angeles Galaxy, Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers.
“We welcome a return visit from one of the premier teams and leaders in the football world with Chelsea FC,” said Sounders FC owner Joe Roth. “I’m looking forward to an unprecedented match-day experience not only for Chelsea FC but also for LA, Vancouver and Portland.”
The four-match ticket package offered by the Sounders includes matches against the Galaxy Aug. 5, the Whitecaps Aug. 18 and the Timbers Oct. 7. The Chelsea match is part of the Sounders FC full 18-game season ticket package.
Chelsea, the only English Premier League club still competing in the Champions League this season, were runners up in the League last season and champions and FA Cup winners in 2010.
The London club has many international players, from Europe, Africa and South America.
“We’re delighted to be returning to Seattle to kick off our summer tour in the U.S.,” said Ron Gourlay, Chelsea’s chief executive. “The right pre-season preparation is vital to us and there’s no better place to start.
“Seattle’s facilities are second to none and the Sounders are quality opponents who enjoy great support. We were there in 2004 and 2009 and both turned out to be winning seasons for us, so we’re really looking forward to taking the team back.”
The four-match ticket package and full season-ticket packages are available by phone at 1-877-MLS-GOAL or online at www.SoundersFC.com. Single match tickets exclusively for the Chelsea match will go on-sale Monday, June 4.
The Sounders have hosted several major international friendlies since their inaugural season in 2009. On July 18, 2009, the Sounders hosted Chelsea (lost 2-0) in a match that attracted 65,289 fans. Last year, a friendly with Manchester United drew more than 67,000.
The Sounders, 2-0 winners over the Houston Dynamo last Friday, host the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday at 7 p.m. at CenturyLink Field.
International Friendlies At CenturyLink Field
Seattle Sounders FC 2012 Schedule
(2-0-0, 6 points, MLS; 1-1 CCL)
|4/7||^at DC United||4:30||KING||—||—||—|
|5/9||^at FC Dallas||5:30||KING||—||—||—|
|6/30||^vs. New England||4:30||KING||—||—||—|
|7/15||^at New York||1:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|8/5||^vs. LA Galaxy||7:00||ESPN2||—||—||—|
|8/11||^at San Jose||7:30||KING||—||—||—|
|9/2||^at FC Dallas||4:00||KING||—||—||—|
|10/21||^vs. FC Dallas||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|10/28||^at LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
*=CONCACAF; ^=Major League Soccer