The Seattle Sounders (1-1-2) meet the Rochester Rhinos tonight in a game that marks the Sounders move to their new home at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
Starfire really isn’t a half-bad place to watch a game, but one of the key reasons for the Sounders move is pure appearances. Sounders FC likes the symbolism of the minor league team playing in a minor league stadium, so that the appearance of the MLS team next season can be accompanied by a return to the major league stadium: Qwest Field.
I haven’t been to Starfire yet this season, but 1,000 new bleacher seats have been installed on the south side of the pitch. Tickets are still available: $13 in advance and $15 at the gate. Kickoff is 7 p.m., but fans are encouraged to arrive early due to traffic and tricky parking.
Another change: The Rhinos are no longer Raging. Rochesters’ highly successful USL team has traditionally gone by the “Raging Rhinos” nickname. But that’s gone now: They are no longer raging … and no longer scoring goals apparently. The team is still looking for its first goal of the season after games against Charleston, Minnesota, Portland, and Vancouver.
The Rhinos are ending a West Coast trip that has included a 0-0 draw in Portland and a 0-1 loss in Vancouver on Saturday night. The Sounders are coming off a scoreless draw against Portland.
"It’s difficult to play against a team that has yet to win their first game,” coach Brian Schmetzer said through a Sounders press release. “Those teams are dangerous because they’re desperate; they work extra hard, and are more intense trying to get that win", Schmetzer said. "I’m preparing my players for a battle."
More notes from the Sounders:
· Saturday night’s opener drew over 10,000 people to Qwest Field. At 10,184, the game was the third largest attendance for a Sounders game at Qwest Field.
· Zach Scott was named to the USL team of the week after leading the Sounders backline to a shutout of Portland.
· Roger Levesque has been cleared to play after sitting out the last two games with an ankle sprain.
· Andre Schmid received a possible broken nose in training on Monday. He will be available for Wednesday’s match.
· (Tonight marks) Rochester’s last of five away games to start the season. Their home opener is Saturday night against Charleston.
· Rochester goalkeeper Scott Vallow was named to the USL team of the week for allowing only one goal in the last two matches on the road.