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2018 MLS Schedule: Sounders, Toronto FC rematch set for May 9

Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono (25) celebrates as Seattle Sounders midfielder Clint Dempsey (2) reacts after a goal by Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore (not shown) during the MLS Cup final in Toronto on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. The Sounders will be back at BMO Field to take on Toronto on May 9. (Chris Young / AP)
Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono (25) celebrates as Seattle Sounders midfielder Clint Dempsey (2) reacts after a goal by Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore (not shown) during the MLS Cup final in Toronto on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. The Sounders will be back at BMO Field to take on Toronto on May 9. (Chris Young / AP)
By Geoff Baker Seattle Times

Less than a month after the Seattle Sounders dropped a 2-0 decision to Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final at BMO Field comes word that the rematch will take place at the same venue on May 9. The Major League Soccer schedule, announced Thursday, has the Sounders visiting Toronto exactly five months after their defeat in the championship match.

It had already been announced that the Sounders would open the season March 4 at home against the Los Angeles FC expansion squad. That match will be one of three played by the team in the opening month, in addition to the second leg of a CONCACAF Champions League series against Santa Tecla FC of El Salvador on March 1.

In addition to the season-opening home game, the Sounders play another match that month at CenturyLink Field against the Montreal Impact on March 31. The team’s schedule is somewhat sparse to open things up, as the Sounders will play just the three games over a span of nearly six weeks until a fourth regular-season match, at Kansas City, on April 15.

That’s in contrast to last year, when the Sounders played a total of six MLS matches by mid-April, which helped the squad recover from a short offseason. Last season, the Sounders struggled with early injuries and players in need of rest as they tried to accommodate the early schedule with only a brief winter break after their MLS Cup win at Toronto.

The sparse early schedule appears to take into account the team’s Champions League schedule, which kicks off Feb. 22 in El Salvador before the return matchup with Santa Tecla at CenturyLink Field three days before the MLS opener.

As for Cascadia Cup matches, the Sounders play at Portland on May 13 before facing the Timbers at home June 30. The teams return to Portland for an Aug. 26 clash. All three games will be televised nationally, part of 13 Sounders contests being broadcast around the country on ESPN or various Fox channels.

The Sounders host the Whitecaps at CenturyLink Field on July 21 and travel to Vancouver on Sept. 15.

Other interesting matchups include road trips to Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on April 29 and playing the franchise’s first game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on July 15.

The Sounders will play two of their final three regular-season games on the road before finishing at home against San Jose on Oct. 29.

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