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MLS Ticker: Seattle to face Chelsea, Wells hangs it up and Galaxy set to kick off

Frank Lampard (AP) 

Soccer fans in the Pacific Northwest are already counting the days until the Seattle Sounders kick off their first MLS season. Now comes word that there will be even more to look forward to in the land of Starbucks and Grey's Anatomy.

The Sounders will play host to English power Chelsea on July 18th at Qwest Field, marking the first major international club to travel to Seattle to face the new MLS club.

Seattle begins inaugural season on March 19th at home against the New York Red Bulls.

Zach Wells Retires

D.C. United goalkeeper Zach Wells has retired at the ripe old age of 27.

The move isn't a complete surprise. I can recall having lunch with Wells during his final year with the MetroStars (back in 2005) and hearing him contemplate just how long he would realistically chase the dream of professional soccer. A year later he was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes (for Jon Conway just before the club moved to Houston), which helped rejuvenate Wells and even earn him a U.S. national team call-up.

After two seasons and two MLS Cup titles with the Dynamo as Pat Onstad's back-up, Wells moved on to D.C. United, where he struggled to establish himself as a dependable starter, which led the club to sign Louis Crayton. That demotion, coupled with a lingering foot injury, ultimately led Wells to call it a career.

Sans stars, Galaxy set to kick off

David Beckham and Landon Donovan are both in Germany right now, but that won't stop the Los Angeles Galaxy from kicking off its 2009 campaign tonight. Bruce Arena's club takes on Japanese club Oita Trinita tonight at Home Depot Center 11pm, Fox Soccer Channel) in its opening match of the 2009 Pan Pacific Championship.

The four-team tournament features teams from Japan, South Korea and China. The Suwon Bluewings face Shandong Luneng Taishan FC in the tournament's opening match.

The tournament is the second installment of the PPC, which Japanese champions Gamba Osaka won convincingly in 2008.

What do you think of these stories? Are you excited to know that Chelsea is heading to Seattle? Still surprised to see Zach Wells retire? Do you have any interest in the Pan Pacific Championship?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. mcadaal, I know its sometimes hard to detect sarcasm over the internet, but man, thats about as obvious as it gets.

    I’d rather have an friendly against a great club that the Sounders can learn from than a sub-par team, like the Mongolian reserve squad (atleast i’m assuming they’re not great, never seen ’em.)

  2. “Soccer fans in the Pacific Northwest…”


    “Soccer fans in Washington…”

    You can throw Idaho in there with Washington. Sounders FC has fans over here as well!

  3. wow, a lot of really dumb people post on here. no body can take a joke, no body checks facts. amazing. anyway, i’m stoked for the sounders to play chelsea. inter is the team that is rumored to play the all-stars. oh, and seattle got jobbed out of a WCQ not because of the turf (a few have pointed out that Qwest trucks in grass for big international fixtures), but because there are way more MLS season ticket holders in Utah and Nashville than Seattle. oh wait…

    second thought…i agree (for the first time) with those whiny timbers fans…please don’t call us Pacific Northwest fans when referring to the Sounders. Oregon and Washington don’t really like each other in the sports world. something the country will find out once they get their act together and give p-town an mls side.

  4. Zach Wells wasn’t that good for metro? If you look at all time stats his 1.38 GAA is the lowest of any goalkeeper in the metrostars’ brief history (ignoring Eddie Gaven). Only Conway has a lower GAA all time for NY.

    He was pretty solid in general for NY. Give credit where it’s due.

  5. XC–no what you are talking about when you speak about the games in Seattle. As part of the vote to approve the stadium way back when it was agreed that the stadium would be used to attract a team and matches. All of the non USL Sounders games have been played on grass. Cletic/MU was on grass, the Gold cup was on Grass, the friendly against Venenzula was on Grass. So once again the fake stuff isn’t what keeps Seattle from getting matches.

    I would prefer games on grass, but sometimes the fake stuff, especially the newer versions can be better than grass because of the weather. See the game last week in Columbus. The last time I checked we seem to get a lot of rain here in the NW, except of course maybe this winter.

  6. I think with the Barca bid in Miami, MLS should try and get Barca to the All-Star game. I don’t think anyone will disagree with me when i say Barcelona play the best soccer in the world. (Man United may win, but Barca play it the best) IF the all-stars can pull off another win, it would be huge IMO.

  7. I did the red/white/blue for the obvious reason of wearing it to games, a soccer logo could easily be thrown on there, I’ll work on that now.

    The idea of the tux t-shirt is interesting.

  8. Hey Seattle – play some games on real grass and then we’ll talk about getting some USMNT games up that way.

    As long as you play on the fake stuff, shove it.

  9. the only reason why they play the PPC is so that LA has a chance to win something. i say all the teams that havent won a title have a tourny to do so.

  10. @ Chris:

    I seriously hope Chelsea isn’t the All-Star opponent again. They were the opp. in 2006. We need a fresh squad around here…still haven’t seen a non-Brit side…

  11. Who will be the opponent at MLS All Stars?

    AC Milan? Real Madrid? Bayern Munich?

    WE need top quality like Arsenal, Liverpool, Man U, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Lyon, Ajax.

    We need to have those top10 teams in each consideration for the All Star Game.

  12. Ian, all I got to say is “wow.” You are one brilliant dude. Seattle will “show how much of a world power we are?”

    The MLS is my favorite league by far, but no team will in the MLS will be able to show how much a wold power they are… not until you give the league a lot of time to grow. Ian, you must have really lost your mind.

  13. Who cares about the result it will be nice seeing a top club come in, it can only benefit the Sounders.

    For those that haven’t been paying attention over the last few months they bring in grass for this type of event, at least they have in the past.

    This match didn’t keep Seattle from getting a WCQ. Can’t say why they didn’t get one of the next two games and the last two because they probably don’t want to bring grass in during the football season

  14. Zack Wells wasn’t all that good for Metro and he didn’t improve anywhere else, so it make sense for him to retire.

  15. I don’t see how some of you people can see it as a negative that Chelsea is coming to play the Sounders. It’ll be a sellout, and a whole lot of fun. I’ll be there for sure. Who cares who wins? It’s an exhibition match.

  16. I too am looking forward to the PPC. Not because of quality of play or any stars participating obviously. I’m not even that big of a Galaxy fan. I’m just jonesing for an MLS fix bad, lol. Something to tide me over until Houston plays it’s game against Atlante.

  17. Squard – maybe you missed the date: July 18. The team will be in mid-season form by then (whatever that is this year). Also, lots of folks will want to see Chelsea play regardless of the opponent and certainly Sounders fans will be thrilled with the opp. to see their team take on the giants.

  18. Rumors still abound that Barca are visiting Seattle as well. Also, Chelsea and Barca are in talks to play a friendly this off season. This sounds like a round robin that will draw thoooooousands more fans to Qwest. If they pull this off, Seattle had better get some love from US Soccer and get a USMNT match up there.

  19. its a money maker people… who cares about a friendly’s result??

    no one really cared when Redbulls were thrashed by Barca….

    plus they’ll be in preseason form, jet lag flying half way around he world, playing on turf, and most likely wont play a full side against Seattle….

  20. When referring to the sounders please don’t assert they have fans throughout the entire northwest. They have fans in Seattle…don’t ever make the mistake of lumping Portland in with that lot up north.

  21. I think mcadaal is right… I mean, everyone here in Seattle REALLY wanted to play the Mongonlian reserve squad so we could show how much of a world power we are.

    …but considering this is a friendly, I guess Chelsea will do.

  22. Any time you bring in one of the top teams in the world it has to be viewed as positive imo. The game will bring added exposure to the club and should serve as a way to bring in more fans

    I think it will be interesting to see the Blues pace enhanced by the artificial turf at Qwest.

  23. Too bad to see Wells retire. I thought he was generally pretty good for Metro, although my foremost memory of him still remains the time when he was chipped from way, way out by Noonan.

  24. Why would Seattle want to take on Chelsea? Chelsea will destroy them. This was an utterly stupid idea. I don’t care if they think it will be a huge payday for them… this is going to get embarrassing. Good luck Seattle!

  25. Ha, ha! I can remember watching from the other side of the field as Taylor Ham was taken to school by El Pescadito Ruiz in a Red Bulls/Chivas game. Graham was turned inside out, didn’t know which way to go. I can only imagine how much worse it will be against Drogba, Anelka, Cole, Malouda & Lampard. But then again, I think Sigi just might keep him on the bench.

  26. anyone hear about MLS direct kick 09 yet, just wondering what the charges were for 08. I’ve never gotten so just looking for input. Also if anyone had it last year how happy were with it, was it worth the money?

  27. Chelsea game = huge payday for Seattle

    Like the SBI Mafia T-Shirt idea, but really don’t think you want Ives face on it (no offense Ives – it doesn’t have anything to do with your looks). I just think you want a soccer related theme / logo in addition to the SBI Mafia wording.

  28. Now that is a nice game for our “extra” 3 games for the season ticket holders. Ownership here continues to make impressive moves for the fans.

  29. I barely can wait for the PPC to start!

    Before some whine: the G’s don’t deserve to participate… You are right, however they (thankfully) moved it to a nice stadium and managed to enter the G’s as hosts on the way of doing so.

    I don’t mind having no Becks or Donovan (atm).

    It will give most if not all of our 32 players a chance to play, too see how god/bad we are, who we can cut and who we should keep.

    Kick Off is only a few hours away

    let’s hope a web feed will be available at 5am CET (ET+6)

  30. Why does MLS insist on embarrassing their own teams? This team hasn’t played a real top-flight match yet and they’re playing Chelsea right away?

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