Sounders to host Colorado to open MLS regular season on February 26

Seattle Sounders FC will host the Colorado Rapids on Feb. 26 at Lumen Field to kick off its 34-match MLS schedule for the 2023 season. At least five Sounders matches will be televised nationally on FOX.

"I think especially being here in Seattle and that rivalry, everyone looks to the Portland game. Everyone looks for the Vancouver games," Sounders midfielder Kelyn Rowe said of the schedule on Tuesday. "… Those are the ones that most people see. Myself, because of the way things turned out last year, the first time in the history of the club – which is incredible – that we didn't make the playoffs, we get to start our season with two games at home. We get to rewrite last year's season and starting off with two games at home in front of our fans to make sure that they know that we're back on the horse and we're ready to go and this season's going to be different. That's what I look at first."

Seattle plays Colorado and Real Salt Lake at home six days apart to kick off the MLS season. The regular season for the Sounders begins just two weeks after they play in the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco, which is set to begin on Feb. 1 and features the best of the world's six soccer regions. The Sounders won a spot in the tournament by winning the Concacaf Champions' League last May.

The Sounders will begin their training camp to prepare for the Club World Cup on January 4, per Rowe.

"We get to play these incredible teams and kind of learn what level Seattle is at, what level the MLS is at. It's pretty great," Rowe said.

In addition to the Club World Cup and the normal MLS schedule, the league will take a month-long break from July 15-August 20 for the Leagues Cup, which will be a 47-team tournament between the teams of the MLS and Liga MX of Mexico.

"Obviously you have your star players. We have a fair amount of them. We're a deep team. But you look at the guys that are 12-18 on the bench," Rowe said of the team. "Those are the guys that you're looking for for that mid-week game, the game where you need the give the stars a rest. Because we're playing more games than we ever have in our careers through a calendar year with all the tournaments that we're playing … You're looking for those guys to step up. And it's not just getting some minutes, it's performing. 

The Sounders join Real Madrid (Spain, UEFA Champions League), Flamengo (Brazil, Copa Libertadores), Auckland City (New Zealand, Oceania Champions League) and Morocco's Wydad Casablanca (host country champion) as confirmed teams for the FIFA Club World Cup next month.

Representatives from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Confederation of African Football (CAF) are yet to be determined.

Home matches against LAFC (March 18), Sporting Kansas City (May 7), and Portland (June 3), and away games against the LA Galaxy (April 1) and Minnesota (Aug. 27) will be on FOX. The season opener against Colorado will be on FS1.

Seattle Sounders FC 2023 MLS Schedule:

Sunday, Feb. 26 Colorado Home 5:00 PM FS1
Saturday, March 04 Real Salt Lake Home 7:30 PM  
Saturday, March 11 Cincinnati Away 4:30 PM  
Saturday, March 18 LAFC Home 12:00 PM FOX
Saturday, March 25 Kansas City Away 5:30 PM  
Saturday, April 01 LA Galaxy Away 4:30 PM FOX
Saturday, April 08 St. Louis Home 7:30 PM  
Saturday, April 15 Portland Away 7:30 PM  
Saturday, April 22 Minnesota Home 7:30 PM  
Saturday, April 29 Real Salt Lake Away 6:30 PM  
Sunday, May 07 Kansas City Home 1:30 PM FOX
Saturday, May 13 Houston Away 5:30 PM  
Wednesday, May 17 Austin Home 7:30 PM  
Saturday, May 20 Vancouver Away 7:30 PM  
Saturday, May 27 New York Redbulls Home 7:30 PM  
Wednesday, May 31 San Jose Home 7:30 PM  
Saturday, June 03 Portland Home 1:30 PM FOX
Saturday, June 10 Charlotte Away 4:30 PM  
Wednesday, June 21 LAFC Away 7:30 PM  
Saturday, June 24 Orlando Home 7:30 PM  
Saturday, July 01 Houston Home 7:30 PM  
Saturday, July 08 Vancouver Away 7:30 PM  
Wednesday, July 12 San Jose Away 7:30 PM  
Saturday, July 15 Dallas Home 7:30 PM  
Sunday, Aug. 20 Atlanta Home 7:30 PM  
Sunday, Aug. 27 Minnesota Away 1:30 PM FOX
Wednesday, Aug. 30 Austin Away 5:30 PM  
Saturday, Sept. 02 Portland Home 7:30 PM  
Saturday, Sept. 16 Dallas Away 5:30 PM  
Wednesday, Sept. 20 Colorado Away 6:30 PM  
Saturday, Sept. 30 Nashville Away 5:30 PM  
Wednesday, Oct. 04 LA Galaxy Home 7:30 PM  
Saturday, Oct. 07 Vancouver Home 7:30 PM  
Saturday, Oct. 21 St. Louis Away TBD