Bend it in Tukwila? Sounders host David Beckham’s Galaxy at Starfire in U.S. Open Cup match

Jul 13, 2011, 9:33 AM | Updated: 11:08 am
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What a kick to see David Beckham and Landon Donovan playing soccer at the old Fort Dent Park in Tukwila, Wash. That’s what takes place tonight when Seattle Sounders FC host the Los Angeles Galaxy in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.

Seattle’s road to three straight Cups will be more difficult because the Galaxy and other Major League Soccer clubs are taking America’s oldest soccer tournament more seriously.

With Los Angeles not playing an MLS match this week there’s a strong chance they’ll use their best players, including Donovan and Beckham.

Sounders coach Sigi Schmid has other considerations when he fills out his lineup card.

“You know our situation is a bit different because we have a league game Saturday against Colorado,” Schmid told me. “They [LA] just have an exhibition game against Real Madrid. Our lineup will be a little bit mix and match, but there are a lot of guys who are hungry and want to be out there.”

If Seattle wins they would host the U.S. Open Cup semifinals Aug. 30.

I used to play recreational matches on the dusty main field of Fort Dent Park. It’s now the main stadium pitch at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. The notion of seeing some of soccer’s legends up close gets me fired up.

It does for Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer as well.

“It’s very cool,” Hanauer said. “I mean, I have mixed feelings. What would have happened had we taken this game to CenturyLink Field? On the other hand we’ve had so many great experiences here at Starfire. It’s such a great atmosphere, there’s a big part of me that loves keeping it here.”

Starfire can hold just over 4,500 fans. Hanauer says there are preliminary plans to expand the capacity to 7,000. Parking will remain a huge issue with limited spaces on the property.

Hanauer is still excited about Saturday’s thrilling 3-2 Sounders victory at Portland.

“I know we give each other a hard time, but what they’ve managed to accomplish, it’s tremendous,” he said. “Amazing fans for both teams. The way they behaved was just good clean fun.”

Looking forward, Hanauer hinted there could be some Sounders FC roster moves before the Aug. 15 transfer deadline.

“We’re looking at a number of different options,” he said. “We’re getting called daily about players on our roster. We’ve got a very quality and deep team. Whether it’s the next week, or the week after that, I would anticipate the team will not look exactly like it does today.”

This week, Seattle has given Jordan Graye, a former D.C. United and Houston Dynamo defender, a tryout. They’re also looking at Tanzanian National Team player Mrisho Ngassa. Hanauer said there’s a chance he might see some action in the friendly against Manchester United.

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