Seattle Sounders FC Releases 2019 Schedule
Major League Soccer today announced its 2019 regular season schedule, a campaign that sees each of its 24 clubs play 34 matches beginning on March 2 and concluding on October 6. Seattle Sounders FC has 11 matches slated for a national television audience on ESPN and FOX's family of networks, beginning with FS1 broadcasting the Rave Green's season opener against expansion side FC Cincinnati on March 2 at CenturyLink Field. As part of today's schedule rollout, Sounders FC also announces that it is hosting Uruguayan side Club Nacional in a preseason friendly on Wednesday, February 20 at CenturyLink Field in a 7:30 p.m. PT kickoff.
As always, Sounders FC's four 2019 Cascadia Cup matchups against Portland and Vancouver are highlights of the schedule, including a pair of nationally-televised fixtures against the Timbers, as Seattle faces their rival at home on July 21 (FS1) and away on August 23 (ESPN). This marks the return of the balanced schedule among Cascadia teams, following last season's adjusted format due to Seattle playing Portland three times and Vancouver twice. The club's home match against Whitecaps FC is slated for June 29 (TSN).
The 2019 MLS season introduces expansion side FC Cincinnati, bringing the league to a total of 24 clubs in its 24th campaign. This marks the second consecutive season and third all-time that Sounders FC has opened its regular season against an expansion side after hosting Los Angeles FC last year and the Philadelphia Union in 2010.
Ten of the club's final 13 matches of 2019 are against Western Conference opponents, culminating with a home match on Decision Day against Minnesota United FC on Sunday, October 6. Other 2019 season highlights include a matchup at CenturyLink Field with 2018 MLS Cup champion Atlanta United FC on July 14 on ESPN, as well as a rematch of the 2016 and 2017 MLS Cups against Toronto FC at home on Saturday, April 13. The Rave Green are set to face each of its Southern California rivals twice in a three-match span, beginning with its two fixtures against LAFC on April 21 (away) and April 28 (home), before facing the LA Galaxy later in the season on August 17 (away) and September 1 (home).
A complete listing of Sounders FC's 2019 regional broadcast details is set to be announced at a later date. Of Sounders FC's 11 nationally televised fixtures, six matches are airing on FS1, four on ESPN and one on ESPN2.
In 2019, MLS games will be televised in 21 primetime windows on FS1 and 13 in primetime on ESPN/ESPN2. Those 34 matches represent the most English language broadcasts in primetime since 2015. Over the course of the season, each club will play 34 games, including 17 homes games and 17 away games. Teams face each of their conference opponents twice and play each non-conference opponent once.
The regular season culminates with Decision Day on October 6, where all MLS clubs will compete in matches starting at 1:00 p.m. PT in the thrilling climax ahead of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, which are scheduled to begin on October 19. The 2019 MLS Cup is set for November 10.