SEATTLE, WA — Seattle Sounders FC today announced that it is hosting Mexican side Club Necaxa and Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt in a pair of international friendlies during the 2017 campaign. Necaxa comes to Seattle for a contest on Saturday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m. PT, marking the third time a Liga MX side has faced Sounders FC in a friendly at CenturyLink Field. On July 8, the Rave Green are set to host Frankfurt – currently ranked third in the Bundesliga and pushing for UEFA Champions League qualification – for the club’s first-ever competition against a German club. Kickoff for that contest is slated for 1:00 p.m. PT.
“We are excited to welcome clubs from two of the best topflight leagues in the world, as both opponents help us achieve long-term goals for the organization,” said Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer. “In an attempt to excel in the CONCACAF Champions League, facing a proven Liga MX club in Necaxa helps us prepare for the next edition of the tournament. Additionally, by playing a top Bundesliga side for the first time, our club has the opportunity to showcase itself against a strong representative from one of the most prominent soccer countries in the world.”
The international friendlies are included as part of the Sounders FC full 19-match 2017 season ticket package, which starts as low as $456. Additionally, the Frankfurt friendly is part of the Sea of Green half-season ticket package, available for only $243. To reserve the best seats and get complete ticketing information for the 2017 season, visit SoundersFC.com/Tickets or call 877-MLS-GOAL.
Founded in 1923, Necaxa emerged as one of the most popular teams in Mexico during the 1930s and currently plays in the country’s topflight, Liga MX. The club had a historic run in the 1990s when it won three Liga MX titles from 1994-1998, as well as winning the CONCACAF Winners’ Cup in 1994 and finishing third in the 2000 FIFA Club World Cup. Currently managed by Alfonso Sosa, Necaxa has a record of 2-3-1 in league action thus far in 2017. The club plays its home matches at Estadio Victoria, which is a 24,000-seat stadium in Aguascalientes City, Mexico.
“As we’ve stated previously, winning the CONCACAF Champions League is a priority for our organization,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Like our friendly match against Club Tijuana in 2015, we believe playing against top Mexican opponents in a competitive setting better prepares us for our next edition of CONCACAF’s regional tournament. With that in mind, we look forward to hosting Necaxa in March.”
Additionally, this summer Sounders FC welcomes its first German opponent. On July 8, Seattle hosts Eintracht Frankfurt – currently ranked third in the Bundesliga, one point ahead of Borussia Dortmund in the race for UEFA Champions League qualification. With Frankfurt’s visit, the Bundesliga becomes the sixth international soccer league to travel to CenturyLink Field for an international friendly since 2009, following the Barclays Premier League, La Liga, Argentine Primera Division, Scottish Premier League and Liga MX.
“In addition to their prominent history, Eintracht Frankfurt has enjoyed a strong campaign in a world-class league,” said Sounders FC Chief Operating Officer Bart Wiley. “We look forward to facing this well-respected organization, from a league that is known globally for its tremendous fan support. We’re excited to see our two passionate fanbases enjoy this occasion, as two of the best teams from their respective leagues face off.”
Founded in 1899, Eintracht Frankfurt is a staple of German football. Since 1925, Die Adler (The Eagles) have played at Commerzbank-Arena, formerly known as the Waldstadion, which is a 51,500-seat stadium and a site for the 1974 and 2006 FIFA World Cup. One of the original 16 teams of the Bundesliga in 1963, Eintracht Frankfurt is a four-time winner of the DFB-Pokal, which is an annual domestic knockout round tournament.
In 2017, Frankfurt sits third in the Bundesliga table with a record of 10-5-5. The club performs under the direction of Manager Niko Kovač, a former Croatian captain and longtime defensive midfielder in the Bundesliga. Kovač previously coached at Red Bull Salzburg from 2009-2011 and the Croatia National Team from 2013-2015. Since 2016, Kovač has posted a record of 17-10-7.
Amidst one of the most successful campaigns in club history, Frankfurt has earned victories over Hamburg, Cologne, Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund, Mainz, Hannover 96 and Schalke, plus a 2-2 draw against first-place Bayern Munich. Forward Alexander Meier, a 34-year-old who joined Frankfurt in 2004, leads the club with five goals. Their backline features United States Men’s National Team defender Timmy Chandler, who has 19 appearances in 2017.
The friendlies provide Sounders FC an opportunity to stay sharp during competitive breaks throughout the regular season. For the Necaxa friendly on March 25, the club has an open window between March 19 – March 31. In the summer, the 2016 Gold Cup gives the Rave Green the opportunity to host Eintracht Frankfurt on July 8, as MLS stops play during CONCACAF’s regional tournament.
Sounders FC has hosted 10 friendlies in the past eight seasons. Seattle is unbeaten against Liga MX opponents, defeating Chivas de Guadalajara 3-1 on October 12, 2010 and drawing Club Tijuana by a score of 2-2 on March 24, 2015. Last season, Seattle topped England’s West Ham United 3-0. In all, Seattle has amassed a record of 3-5-2 in international friendlies at CenturyLink Field.
Sounders FC’s ninth MLS campaign begins on Saturday, March 4 against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. 2017 Season Ticket Memberships, including are still available by calling 877-MLS-GOAL or emailing Sales@SoundersFC.com. Complete information on all Sounders FC ticket packages can be found at SoundersFC.com/Tickets.
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