The Sounders will host Toronto FC on March 17. Might that be their 2012 MLS season opener?
The ever diligent folks at Canadian Soccer News managed to get their hands on a leaked copy of Toronto FC's schedule. While that is all fine and good, there's a nice little nugget in there even if you only care about the Seattle Sounders' 2012 schedule: TFC will not be playing on First Kick weekend.
The reason that might be of interest to us is because, like the Sounders, TFC is playing in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. While one team was destined to get a bye during opening weekend -- as with 19 teams there will be a bye every week -- that it was TFC brings all kinds of issues to forefront. Namely, why would MLS elect to give TFC a bye while forcing the Sounders and the LA Galaxy to play? More importantly, why would MLS schedule the Sounders to play TFC on March 17?
While this is completely idle speculation, I have a feeling MLS may have had second thoughts about having the Sounders and Galaxy host games on First Kick. While giving the Sounders and Galaxy the weekend off after previously announcing they would play might seem like more MLS shenanigans, it would make a lot more sense than having them play.
If the Sounders and Galaxy are both forced to play that weekend -- and since we now know the Sounders won't be given a bye during Week 2 -- that would set up a situation where the Sounders have played four games before the season is even two weeks old. That wouldn't be the craziest thing if it were to happen, but it would seem unnecessarily unfair.