Charlie Stillitano, the CEO of tournament organizer Relevent Sports, said the three-year-old ICC made being in Seattle a priority for the 2015 competition, which begins July 11 across the U.S.
Not only had the ICC long been trying to organize a matchup in Seattle, it had also specifically focused on including Club America
, the current CONCACAF Champions League
titleholders and winners of a record 12 Mexican League championships.
, we have had them so many times in the past, but they've never been to the Northwest," Stillitano
"This was an opportunity to bring the biggest team in Mexico and current CONCACAF champions, and have them face one of Europe's biggest teams.
said the ICC did try to include the Sounders in this year's competition, but things didn't work out.
There are three other MLS teams participating in the tournament: the Los Angeles Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes and New York Red Bulls.
While the Sounders are not participating in this year's ICC, Stillitano
said the tournament wants to come back to the Emerald City and get the Sounders involved in the future.
Like Townsend, Stillitano
has fond memories of participating in a March to the Match early in the Sounders' MLS history, and that experience has stuck with him.
"Walking from Pioneer Square, by the time we got to the stadium, there were 3,000 people there, and I was thinking, 'This is amazing,'" Stillitano
"We are excited to bring two more top-quality international matches to Miami," said Relevent Sports CEO Charlie Stillitano, via Franco Panizo of Soccer By Ives.