The Sounders will begin defense of their MLS Cup at noon on March 1 against the Chicago Fire.

The league announced the date of the 2020 home openers for all of its teams Thursday, including the newest expansion clubs in Nashville SC, which will open Feb. 29 at home, and Inter Miami CF, which also debuts its home schedule March 1.

The full MLS schedule will be announced at a later date.

Seattle won their second MLS Cup in team history by defeating Toronto FC, 3-1, before a record crowd of 69,274 at CenturyLink Field in November. The result qualified the Sounders for the CONCACAF Champions League, which means Seattle’s full season will actually begin the week of Feb. 18-20 with the Round of 16 leg of that tournament.

The draw for the Champions League is slated for Dec. 9 in Mexico City while Sounders training camp opens Jan. 11 and part is expected to be held in Mexico to prepare.

Seattle’s match against Chicago is the first time the teams have faced each other to open an MLS season. The Sounders are 6-5-0 all-time in MLS regular-season openers, including a 4-1 win against FC Cincinnati last spring.

The complete MLS schedule will feature 24 matches with the Sounders facing each Western Conference opponent once and 10 matches against Eastern Conference foes. There will be 17 home games and 17 away.

Note

Defender Saad Abdul-Salaam had his rights picked up by FC Cincinnati in Stage 2 of MLS’s re-entry draft. Abdul-Salaam, who was originally signed in January 2019, started 11 of his 18 appearances last season but did not play during the MLS Cup run.