After a couple days of speculation -- and a confirmation on the Philadelphia Union's side on Wednesday -- the Seattle Sounders officially announced that their July 23 game has been moved to Oct. 8. The move was made to accomodate the Union's desire to host a friendly against Real Madrid at Lincoln Financial Field as part of the World Football Challenge.
"From a competitive standpoint, we are not concerned with this change," Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer told Sounder at Heart. "October may or may not be as congested as July. Hopefully, we will be healthier at that point in the season, and we are likely to have some level of summer reinforcement integrated into the team by that time.
"From a logistical standpoint, we are not happy, but for the overall good of our league, we were willing to compromise and work with our partners and MLS in New York."
With the release of the CONCACAF Champions League draw on Wednesday, there appears to be at least some upside for the Sounders. While it does eliminate one of the two MLS games that would have been played on the temporary grass pitch, the Sounders do have a match in Panama against San Francisco July 26-28. The Sounders will now have almost two weeks off before that match, as opposed to playing as close as three days before and having to fly more than 3,000 miles to Panama. The only potential conflict to the Oct. 8 match would be a potential U.S. Open Cup final which will likely be played on Oct. 4.