No matter how old sports fans get, there is still always something exciting and pure about the release of your favourite club's schedule for the upcoming season. The passionate Seattle Sounders fan base.
As per soundersfc.com, the Rave Green's schedule for the 2023 MLS regular season has now been release. They have a lot of work to do if they are to return to the playoffs next year, with the fixture list at least providing some clarity on who they will face and when.
As you'd anticipate, there were a number of intriguing aspects which stood out from the release of the Sounders' schedules. Here are our eight main takeaways:
Opening at home no surprise
1) Seattle will open the regular season at Lumen Field versus Colorado, which is no surprise given all but one of their previous 14 season-openers were at home. For the record, they have won eight and lost five of their previous 13 MLS home openers.
The release of the 2023 regular season schedule is an exciting time for MLS fans; we delve into the Seattle Sounders' fixtures and look into what stands out as they aim to return to the playoffs this next year.
2) The Rave Green will be able to ease into the regular season with two consecutive home games, before their first road fixture takes place in Cincinnati. The two teams have met just twice so far since FC Cincinnati joined MLS, with both games in Seattle and the Sounders taking four out of a possible six points.
3) The Sounders' toughest stretch of the season will arguably come between Aug. 27 and Sep. 30, when they place five of six regular season games on the road. This could prove a critical point of the season for a club which was terrible on their travels last season, with a record of 3-12-2.
The intensity of local rivalries
4) As always, there will be a lot of interest and passion surrounding Seattle's games against their two Cascadia Cup rivals. They will play each club three times, with two at home to Portland and two on the road to Vancouver.
5) Players, coaches, fans and media folks alike will debate how important the previous season is on how competitive clubs are the following year. Regardless, 16 of the Sounders' 34 games will be against opponents who made the playoffs in 2022.
6) The Rave Green will complete the season by going to St. Louis for Decision Day. Pending their playoff situation, it will be a case of the great unknown versus a club which makes its MLS debut in 2023.
A key factor in the pursuit of a playoff spot
7) It is believed by many, that the Sounders' focus on CONCACAF Champions League glory at the start of last season ultimately contributed to the end of their MLS-record 13 consecutive seasons making the playoffs. This is worth noting, because they will be in Morocco between Feb. 1-11 for the FIFA men’s Club World Cup.
8) Seattle has always taken pride in calling themselves a football rather than soccer club, as they look to uphold the values and traditions of the grand old game. In this respect, 23 of their 34 regular season games will be played on a Saturday, including 11 of 17 at home.
What were your main takeaways from the release of the 2023 schedule? How confident are you the Seattle Sounders will return to the playoffs next year? Let us know in the comments section below.