The Seattle Sounders will host their third-round U.S. Open Cup match with Atlanta Silverbacks on Wednesday because the Sounders bought hosting rights from the second-division Silverbacks.
“It’s huge,” veteran defender Zach Scott said. “… We were talking about it on Sunday as we were headed back to Seattle, like, ‘We could be on a flight headed back to Atlanta right now.’ So that’s something we’re very grateful to the organization for doing for us, and definitely we want to thank (general manager Adrian Hanauer) and the top brass for getting the game here.”
The switch wasn’t negotiated merely to play on a familiar field in front of a home crowd, Hanauer said. Instead, it was to save a couple of cross-country trips for a club that already piles up more travel miles than most teams in MLS.
“My main priority is my team … and winning as many tournaments as possible, and as many games as possible,” Hanauer said. “… So a big portion of the thinking was, ‘We’re sitting up here in the Northwest, we already travel tens of thousands more miles than teams that aren’t in the Northwest. We’ve won three Open Cups. We’ve played Champions League … We’ve dug up the stats: We’ve played 20, 25, 30 games more than other teams … That’s a lot of mileage on the players. And so we engaged in conversations with Atlanta.”