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Sounders Face Jaguares de Chiapas In February 29th Community Shield

Continuing their preseason tradition of a Community Shield match to raise funds for charity partners, the Seattle Sounders today announced that their opponent in the Feb. 29 7 PM match will be Jaguares de Chiapas of the Mexican Primera. In a new twist, the match will be free and seating on a first-come, first-serve basis, but the club will be accepting donations at the door. This is a similar model as used in Reserve League matches at Starfire, but this match will be at CenturyLink Field against a team that finished fifth in the 2011 Apertura and lost to Santos Laguna (4-3 aggregate) in the quarterfinals.

Jaguares de Chiapas joins Atlante as a preseason Mexican opponent as the Sounders prepare to face Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. At eight days before the opening of the 2012 competitive year, Sigi Schmid will likely field mainly starters based on recent comments on a conference call:

Out of that group of 15-16 guys, we want to make sure they get into a rhythm of going full-out every week, making sure they push themselves to a game. Obviously the game against Columbus is going to be an important game for them. Then a little over a week later they’re going to get full run out again against Atlante. Then a week later we’re hoping to solidify another game and then a week later we play against Santos. We’re trying to get them into that rhythm, so they really get used to building up into a weekly rhythm earlier than they normally would.

While the basis of the Community Shield model is for two trophy winners to face off, the Sounders seem to be building this match on a game against an available team that could best prepare them for competitive matches.

Full release follows

Sounders FC Announce Community Shield Match on February 29
Event will be free of charge but fans can 'pay it forward' to local charity partners

RENTON, Wash. - The Seattle Sounders FC announced plans for the club's third annual "Community Shield" match which will take place on Wednesday, February 29 at 7 p.m. on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. The Sounders FC will face the Jaguares de Chiapas of the Primera División de México in a preseason match. This year's match will be free of charge but the team is encouraging fans to pay it forward. Donations will be accepted at the gates for the team's charity partners.

Proceeds from the match will benefit the team's five community partners: America SCORES Seattle, Boys & Girls Clubs (King Co. & Bellevue), Special Olympics Washington, Washington Global Health and Washington Youth Soccer.

The Community Shield match is presented by adidas. During a halftime presentation, adidas will make a $2,000 donation to Sounders FC community partners and will host many of their youth soccer clubs at the match.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. Seating is first come, first serve throughout the lower east bowl.

The model for the event is based upon the "Charity or Community Shield" matches in England, where they are a long standing tradition featuring the champions of the FA Premier League against the winners of the FA Cup with all proceeds going to charity.

Sounders FC first regular season MLS match is on March 17 versus Toronto FC on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT.

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