Sounders to open season against KC


SEATTLE — Takeaways for the Sounders were mixed when it came to the 2014 MLS schedule, released by the league Monday.

The good? Thirteen of Seattle’s 34 regular-season games will be on national television, starting with the March 8 opener against MLS Cup finalist Sporting Kansas City. The noon kickoff at CenturyLink Field is the earliest of eight games leaguewide on opening day.

Eleven of the Sounders’ final 16 games will have a national audience, including two on NBC.

The list of potential concerns is longer, however.

The Sounders will play four of their six Cascadia games on the road, with two trips apiece to Portland and Vancouver and just one home game against each rival. It is a reverse from this past season, when Seattle hosted four of the six games. Many had hoped the league would balance the schedule for the regional competition, where teams would play three games at home and three on the road.

The Sounders’ season also concludes, peculiarly, with consecutive games against the always-dangerous Los Angeles Galaxy, a home-and-home series that history suggests could affect playoff seeding.

Lastly, Seattle has four road games in a row — a first in franchise history — from June 7 to July 5. April starts with three straight away from home.

MLS will take a two-week break during the group stage of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil (June 12-24). Nearly 90 percent of the league’s games are scheduled on weekends.

Sounders FC defender DeAndre Yedlin finished third in the voting for MLS Rookie of the Year. Colorado midfielder Dillon Powers won, as voted by teams and media, followed by Rapids teammate Deshorn Brown. Yedlin, Seattle’s lone All-Star this season, led the team with 30 starts and 2,710 minutes played.

The Sounders did not select any of the 28 available players in Monday’s waiver draft. Two players of note were Danish midfielder Philip Lund, who has been waived by Seattle, and league pool goalkeeper Doug Herrick, a Seattle native who trained all year with the Sounders. Both are free agents.

Reign FC has signed defenders Lauren Barnes, Kiersten Dallstream and Kate Deines to new contracts for next season. Seattle has options on all three for 2015. Deines is an Issaquah native who played for Washington.


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