Tacoma, WA – The Sounders FC U-23 will kick off their 2012 PDL playoffs campaign on Saturday night at Franklin Pierce Stadium at 7:30 p.m. They will host the Washington Crossfire FC, a team the Sounders U-23 faced twice during the regular season, and were twice the victor. Free admission will be allowed for any fan wearing a Sounders U-23 T-shirt that can be purchased HERE.
The top four teams in the Northwest division qualify for a chance to play in the PDL Western Conference Final Four, but must first face each other to decide which two teams will move on. The number one seeded, Sounders U-23, will face the number four seed, Washington Crossfire. Number two also faces off against number three, which pits the Portland Timbers U-23 against the Kitsap Pumas.
The winners of these division first-four games move on to face qualifiers from the Western Conference’s Southwest division. FC Tucson awaits the winner of the Sounders U-23 vs. Washington Crossfire match, and the winner of the Timbers vs. Pumas match will face the Ventura County Fusion.
The side that manages to emerge from the heap will be considered the Western Conference champion, and will qualify to represent the west in the PDL Championship final four. The final four consists of conference champions from the leagues four conferences: Central, Eastern, Southern, and Western. The Central Conference will face the Eastern Conference qualifier, and the Southern will play the West.
In order for the Sounders U-23 to reach the National Final Four, they must take the first step by defeating the Crossfire for the third straight time in 2012. In their previous meetings with Crossfire, the Sounders U-23 kept the Redmond, WA based club’s goal scorers off of the score sheet. The Sounders won 2-0 at home, and then 1-0 on the road.
The WA Crossfire finished their regular season losing four straight matches. However, a strong showing during the middle portion of the season earned them enough points to hold on to the fourth spot in the NW Division standings.
After suffering a 0-3 loss to the Kitsap Pumas at home on June 15, the Sounders U-23 closed out the season winning six in a row. The streak included road-wins over the Timbers U-23, Crossfire, and the Pumas, outscoring their opponents during the stretch 18-5.
For more information about Saturday’s match, including how to purchase tickets, visit SoundersU23.com. Reminder, fans wearing a Sounders U-23 T-shirt, or purchasing a shirt that can be picked up at the gate, will get a free ticket to the match! Then, follow us on twitter for inside information and live updates from the match @SoundersU23.