Many Sounders will be participating in the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament, which kicks off tomorrow as well, but under interim coach Gonzalo Pineda, Seattle will face Eintracht Frankfurt at the Clink.
While Jordan Morris and Christian Roldan (and possibly Clint Dempsey later in the tournament) are off playing for the US Men’s Team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the Sounders will play an international friendly match at home against the German side, Eintracht Frankfurt.
Frankfurt is an old team, with a German championship in 1959, and four German Cup Championships, with a fifth just out of reach with a loss in the finals this season. A founding member of the prestigious German league Bundesliga, Frankfurt has been up and down in the top flight and second league. After being relegated most recently in 2011, Frankfurt returned to the top flight in the Bundesliga in 2013, where it remains.
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The Sounders will be without coach Brian Schmetzer, who will be at a coaching seminar in Nashville, leaving assistant coach Gonzalo Pineda in charge of his side against the German team. Schmetzer seems confident in Pineda to leave him in charge of the team while he takes instruction from US national team coaches in Nashville.
Pineda will of course start a b-squad against Frankfurt, but the game will be telling of his coaching style, especially if the Sounders substitutes keep things close to the talented team from Frankfurt.
Frankfurt will throw Branimir Hrgota at the Sounders, a 24-year-old Swedish player who scored five goals in 28 appearances last season, his first with Frankfurt. Hrgota appears to be just warming up for his relatively new club.
Nelson Mandela Mbouhom, named after that Nelson Mandela, moved from his home in Cameroon at the age of nine to join Barcelona’s youth soccer academy. Now 18, Mandela the Younger is in his first season with Frankfurt–and his first season as a pro. He signed his first professional contract with Frankfurt earlier this week. Welcome the young man to Seattle!
We’ll see Sounders of the future on the pitch at CenturyLink Field tomorrow, as well as Gold Cup action for the US Men’s Team. Now’s the time to get into soccer if you haven’t already.