Seattle will host the United States' World Cup qualifier against Panama on June 11, it was finally announced on Thursday. The United States has not played a qualifier in Seattle since Oct. 20, 1976 when they beat Canada 2-0 at the Kingdome, according to Seattle soccer historian Frank MacDonald. That marked the first time any World Cup qualifier had ever been played indoors.
"Going to Seattle for a World Cup Qualifier was very high on our list because of the fantastic atmosphere," said head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "It was a no brainer. We knew we had to go to Seattle and the sooner the better because it will hopefully give us an advantage in our game."
The last time the United States played any game in Seattle was in 2009 for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and US Soccer had not scheduled a game here since 2003, when they played at Safeco Field.
The most common reason given for the lack of recent games has been a desire to avoid playing on FieldTurf. It is widely assumed that temporary grass will be laid on top for this match. That will likely be laid shortly after the Kenny Chesney concert on June 1, giving it a full week to settle before the Sounders' game on June 8 against the Vancouver Whitecaps and two more full days to recover before the qualifier.
The seating be capped at 42,000 fans in consideration of traffic and parking concern, a Sounders release said. The Seattle Mariners host the Houston Astros at 7:10 p.m.
Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, April 2 at 10 a.m.