This is how the CLink normally looks. It will not look this way on Friday night. - Dave Clark
In a departure from Sounders' tradition, CenturyLink Field will bear some of the markings of the local football team.
In a decision that was admittedly a compromise between the NFL and MLS portions of the combined organization the Seattle Sounders will have Seahawks logos at midfield and in the space where an endzone would be. There will be no hashmarks or yard markings. Depending on weather there may or may not be the NFL wide sideline markings. The current forecast of moderate to heavy rain makes it likely that these will be laid down.
At today's post practice press conference Sigi Schmid talked about why the decision was made. The choice came down to some markings on Friday night or a Monday night match with a more compressed schedule tiring out players.
"I think our organization and this club has been tremendous about making sure that we always played our games on a soccer field that was pretty pristine. But we're an organization that works together, the Seahawks and ourselves, and they've done things to help us and we've done things to help them." Schmid said. "For us right now, from a physiological side for the team it made more sense to play the game on Friday. We realized that we'd have to deal with some markings. The endzone markings and the midfield marking we're fine with. If the border could be avoided along the sidelines that would be great for us. We understand that we're a cooperative organization and there's been so much cooperation between the two organizations that this is a small thing for us to do. It was the right thing to do in terms of choosing the date of the game for the team."
Minority owner and General Manager Adrian Hanauer also spoke to the gathered media. He mentioned that they are working on a new technology that would apply the paint, heat, dry and keep it covered that could eventually become a 12 to 18 hour turnaround time so that a compromise would not be needed in the future.
For now though, there is a compromise. "Our preference would be a totally clean soccer field and football's preference was undoubtedly a completely lined football field so that they don't have any concerns for Sunday," Hanauer noted, but it's the reality for a two sport stadium."
That reality will bug some Sounders supporters. Compromise can often feel like a loss. It is not. It is a sacrifice, one that was done for the sake of the team being better prepared to win games after Leg One.
The best way for the organization to make the fans forget about this decision is simple - win.