RENTON, Wash. - Seattle Sounders FC will host Chelsea FC, winners of five major English titles in the past five seasons, Saturday, July 18, at Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, it was announced today. Kickoff is set for 12 noon pacific time and the match will be televised live on ESPN2.
“This will be unlike any international game ever played in the Pacific Northwest,” said Sounders FC majority owner Joe Roth. “Chelsea is one of the top clubs in the world, and they are playing the home team, our Sounders FC, backed by our loyal supporters. The atmosphere that afternoon will be incredible.”
The match is part of the Sounders FC full 18-game season ticket package. To date, the club has sold 19,800 season tickets. Seattle opens its first Major League Soccer season at home on March 19 against the New York Red Bulls.
"We are delighted to be opening our preseason preparations in Seattle,” said Peter Kenyon, the Chief Executive of Chelsea FC. “It is a fantastic city and we have great memories of our time there in the summer of 2004 which went on to be a great season for us. The Sounders FC will provide us with a real test and we are happy that a sporting city like Seattle now has its own new soccer franchise as it is important for the development of the game in the United States. We will be bringing a full strength squad so it should be a great game."
Chelsea features a star-studded lineup led by captain and defender John Terry and midfielder Frank Lampard-both members of the English National Team-and other accomplished internationals such as Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack and Deco.
In anticipation of the demand for tickets, seating at Qwest Field will be expanded to include the upper bowl for the Chelsea game.
Chelsea will be making its first trip to Seattle since the London club certified its standing as one of the world’s powers by winning back-to-back Premier League championships in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
The Blues finished second in the EPL the past two seasons and in 2008 they were runners-up in Europe’s most prestigious competition, the UEFA Champions League. The recent run of success also includes an FA Cup (2007) and two Carling Cups (2005, 2007).
This marks Chelsea’s fourth visit to Seattle and second to Qwest Field. In 2004 the Blues defeated Scotland’s Celtic, 4-2. The original North American Soccer League Sounders won a friendly, 2-0, at the Kingdome in 1977. Chelsea first toured in 1967, defeating a local amateur side, 5-0, at Memorial Stadium.
An on-sale date to purchase tickets exclusively for the Chelsea match will be announced later this spring. Season ticket memberships that include the Chelsea match are available by phone at 1-877-MLS-GOAL or online at www.SoundersFC.com.