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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
Read

Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
Read
By ESPN Staff

MLS Cup to be played at Qwest Field

SEATTLE -- The home of the expansion Seattle Sounders was chosen by Major League Soccer to host this year's MLS Cup.

The league announced Wednesday that the 14th championship game of the top professional soccer league in the United State and Canada would be played Nov. 22 at Seattle's Qwest Field.

"The city of Seattle and Qwest Field will be a tremendous setting for our country's marquee soccer event of the year," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a release. "The stadium was designed with soccer in mind and we believe the buzz surrounding Sounders FC will add to the electricity at our championship game."

The Sounders will debut March 19 against the New York Red Bulls.

Even before their first game, the Sounders have shattered all previous benchmarks for fan interest. The team has already capped season-ticket sales at 22,000 -- well beyond the league's average attendance from last year -- and extra seats will be used for the season opener, when more than 32,000 are expected.

Qwest Field will also host a CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader July 4 and Seattle will play Chelsea from the English Premier League in an exhibition match July 19. Seattle has previously hosted international club and national team matches.

"This is a tremendous honor and reward for our season ticket holders and an added incentive for our coaches and players," Sounders majority owner Joe Roth said.

It's the second straight year the MLS Cup will be decided on the West Coast after last year's game at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Qwest Field will be the eighth venue to host the game.

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