Sounders FC will honor 40 years of professional soccer in Seattle this season.
The celebration dates to the 1974 formation of the original Sounders in the now-defunct North American Soccer League, a team that featured stars like Jimmy Gabriel and Pepe Fernandez under coach John Best.
A ceremonial 40th anniversary match will be at home Oct. 10 against the Vancouver Whitecaps, a Pacific Northwest rival also established in 1974.
The Sounders, in conjunction with the fan-driven Alliance Council, have also designed a logo for the anniversary that will be worn during eight regular-season games and featured on a to-be-released third jersey.
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The logo will be used on the traditional Rave green jerseys in the March 8 season opener against Sporting Kansas City, in addition to home games played at CenturyLink Field’s full capacity and games against San Jose, another team with NASL roots to 1974.
Former Sounders players and coaches will be honored on game days throughout the season. Merchandise for the 40th anniversary will be available at the Pro Shop at CenturyLink Field and downtown Seattle, while a celebratory banner will hang in the southeast corner of the stadium.
Reign adds two
Reign FC has acquired Japanese midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi on loan for the upcoming NWSL season and signed defender Kendall Fletcher to a one-year deal with an option for 2015.
Kawasumi plays for INAC Kobe Leonessa and is a two-time MVP of the Nadeshiko League. The 28-year-old is also a regular with Japan’s national team, who she helped lead to the 2011 Women’s World Cup.
“Naho is a world-class talent who will add a different dimension to our front line in the coming season,” said Laura Harvey, general manager and head coach, in a news release. “She is a proven winner in both league and international play and will bring that important mentality and experience to our club.”
Fletcher, 29, is finishing the Australian W-League season with Canberra United.
• Forward Corey Hertzog, who was selected by the Sounders in the MLS Re-Entry Draft but didn’t come to terms, has signed a one-year deal with Orlando City SC of the third-tier USL PRO. Seattle retains Hertzog’s MLS rights.
• Portland has signed University of Washington product Taylor Peay. The defender was selected by the Timbers in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com. On Twitter @joshuamayers.