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Sounders 2019 schedule: Playing on short rest will be almost normal

Sounders will play more than a third of their games on no more than four days of rest.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Conditioning could play an even more important role in 2019 than it has in previous years. The biggest takeaway from Monday’s 2019 schedule being released is that 13 of the Seattle Sounders’ 34 regular-season matches will be played on no more than four days’ worth of rest. Only Atlanta United (14) play more games on such short rest, but .

The main culprit is that the Sounders will play seven midweek matches. While that is on par with previous seasons — they had six last year and seven in 2017 — the number of games on short rest does appear to be the most they’ve ever had. Last year, the six midweek games contributed to 10 games being played on short rest, while they only needed to play nine games on short rest in 2017.

Making matters worse is that eight of those short-rest matches will be played on the road, with four of them requiring cross-country travel. Historically, MLS teams rarely win when traveling cross-country on short rest.

Here are some of the particularly intimidating stretches:

May 11-June 5: After a relatively straightforward start to the season, the pace picks up here with six games in about three weeks, including four straight on the road. This stretch will be the first time the Sounders have played four straight MLS games on the road. The Sounders start off by hosting the Houston Dynamo on May 11 followed by hosting Orlando City on May 15. They then travel to the Philadelphia Union for a short-rest, cross-country game on May 18. Road games against Sporting KC (May 26), FC Dallas (June 1) and Montreal Impact (June 5) follow in quick succession. Anything more than eight points would almost have to be considered a success.

June 29-July 21: The Sounders start this stretch with a home game against the Vancouver Whitecaps and then go cross-country to play New York City FC on July 3. They follow that up with a road match against the Columbus Crew on July 6 before flying home to face reigning MLS Cup champions Atlanta United on July 14. They close out the stretch with their home game against the Portland Timbers on July 21.

Aug. 10-Aug. 23: The stretch starts simply enough with a home game against the New England Revolution, but it’s complicated by a midweek trip to play at Real Salt Lake on Aug. 14 followed by a road game at the LA Galaxy on Aug. 17. The Sounders close out the stretch with a trip to the Portland Timbers for a rare Friday night game.

Other interesting scheduling notes:

  • The Sounders have only one game scheduled during an international window (June 5, at Impact). They do have three more games during the latter stages of Copa America, though (June 29 vs. Whitecaps; July 3 at NYCFC; July 6 at Crew).
  • Like last year, both matches against LAFC are in quick succession. This year they play both the games in the same week (April 21 and 28), albeit with a home game against the Earthquakes in between.
  • Curiously, both matches against the LA Galaxy are also played very close to each other. The Sounders visit the Galaxy on Aug. 17 and host them on Sept. 1.
  • The Cascadia Cup will be perfectly balanced for the first time since 2011. The Sounders’ portion will be March 30 (at Vancouver), June 29 (vs. Whitecaps), July 21 (vs. Timbers) and Aug. 23 (at Portland).
  • The Sounders will play 11 matches on national television: six on FS1, four on ESPN and one on ESPN2.
  • The Sounders will host Uruguay’s Nacional in a preseason friendly on Feb. 20. Nacional is where Nicolas Lodeiro got his professional career started.

Sounders 2019 schedule

Wednesday February 20 Club Nacional (FRIENDLY) 7:30 p.m.
Saturday March 2 vs. FC Cincinnati 7:00 p.m. / FS1
Saturday March 9 vs. Colorado Rapids 7:00 p.m.
Saturday March 16 at Chicago Fire 1:00 p.m.
Saturday March 30 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC 7:00 p.m.
Saturday April 6 vs. Real Salt Lake 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday April 10 at Colorado Rapids 6:00 p.m.
Saturday April 13 vs. Toronto FC 1:00 p.m.
Sunday April 21 at Los Angeles FC 4:00 p.m. / FS1
Wednesday April 24 vs. San Jose Earthquakes 7:30 p.m.
Sunday April 28 vs. Los Angeles FC 12:30 p.m. / ESPN
Saturday May 4 at Minnesota United FC 5:00 p.m.
Saturday May 11 vs. Houston Dynamo 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday May 15 vs. Orlando City SC 7:30 p.m.
Saturday May 18 at Philadelphia Union 4:30 p.m.
Sunday May 26 at Sporting Kansas City 3:00 p.m. / FS1
Saturday June 1 at FC Dallas 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday June 5 at Montreal Impact 4:30 p.m.
Saturday June 29 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday July 3 at New York City FC 4:00 p.m.
Saturday July 6 at Columbus Crew SC 4:30 p.m.
Sunday July 14 vs. Atlanta United FC 1:00 p.m. / ESPN
Sunday July 21 vs. Portland Timbers 6:30 p.m. / FS1
Saturday July 27 at Houston Dynamo 5:00 p.m.
Sunday August 4 vs. Sporting Kansas City 7:00 p.m. / FS1
Saturday August 10 vs. New England Revolution 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday August 14 at Real Salt Lake 7:00 p.m.
Saturday August 17 at LA Galaxy 7:00 p.m. / ESPN2
Friday August 23 at Portland Timbers 7:00 p.m. / ESPN
Sunday September 1 vs. LA Galaxy 3:00 p.m. / FS1
Sunday September 15 vs. New York Red Bulls 12:30 p.m. / ESPN
Wednesday September 18 vs. FC Dallas 7:30 p.m.
Sunday September 22 at D.C. United 5:00 p.m.
Sunday September 29 at San Jose Earthquakes 4:30 p.m.
Sunday October 6 vs. Minnesota United FC 1:00 p.m.

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