There's no question about the most important event of the weekend. Seattle Sounders FC need three points at home and they need it badly. In a way it's a bit unfortunate that such a match will have the added pressure of the biggest rivalry and biggest audience in Major League Soccer. But, no matter the circumstances, Sounders vs. Timbers is a massive event, and it only seems to get bigger.
Between the concerts, tournaments, giveaways, the Red Cross, giant Instagram banners and beer gardens, it's worth taking a step back and looking at the rundown of everything Sounders-related going on leading up the ESPN-televised spectacle on Sunday.
Friday, August 28th
If you were thinking about picking up a piece of official Sounders gear before the match, Friday seems a good day to do it, especially because the online store is offering a 15 percent discount with the code RIVAL15. Not that it will get to you in time to wear it to this match, but hey, a deal is a deal.
If you possess any magic powers or know any good voodoo spells, your chance to perform them on Brad Evans also comes on Friday.
In fact, this is part of a pretty big Windows-sponsored event at Westlake Park on Friday. In addition to seeing some historic jerseys, etc. and entering to win prizes, you can take an Instagram pic to add it to an 8-foot photo-mosaic that will be around at Occidental Park before the March to the Match.
Saturday, August 29th
A huge day of soccer awaits on Saturday at Starfire, where the Emerald City Supporters, the Timbers Army, and the two MLS teams will come together to do good and have fun.
At 10 a.m., La Barra Fuerza Verde's La Copita youth invitational tournament kicks off.
At noon, athletes from Special Olympics Washington will take on those from Special Olympics Oregon in a 5-v-5 match in the second leg of the annual rivalry series.
For the rest of the day, it's ECS vs. TA in Supporters' Cup action, where the supporters take it out on the pitch for some bragging rights when they climb into the stadium the next day.
First it's the Men's II squads facing off at 2 p.m. Then the Women's teams at 4, before the Men's I sides finish up the evening, kicking off at 6. Brian Schmetzer and Roger Levesque will be around in some sort of "guest coach" capacity. That ought to be good.
Sunday, August 30th
Yes, the ECS Brougham Block Party is happening at Fuel Sports Bar. Beer garden, merch and membership tables, breakfast and more. Start your day the right way at 9 a.m. (21+ event)
Season ticket holders can head over to THE NINETY for an Appreciation Party. From 11:30 a.m. on, there will be a lot going on in Sounders FC's event space. Free t-shirts, a "GIF booth," Xbox-related prizes, temporary tattoos and S2 players are a few of the attractions. You can also renew season tickets in person.
Seattle band Duke Evers will play a concert in Occidental Park starting at 12:15, and then it's off to CenturyLink with the March to the Match. Don't lag way in the back, though, there's more planned at the stadium before the 2:01 p.m. kick.
First, Red Cross volunteers will be on hand to collect donations to support those affected by the Oregon and Washington wildfires.
Additionally, you won't want to miss the prematch Golden Scarf ceremony, in which Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo will be showered with praise and also golden scarves.
Finally, you will want your butt in (or near) your seat for whatever tifo is brewing in the Brougham End.
When 2 p.m. Sunday finally rolls around, after all the pageantry, it will be time for the Sounders to take care of business against their biggest rivals. Kickoff is set for 2:01 p.m. sharp, so don't be late. Maybe all the buildup and the buzz of an entire city getting behind a soccer team can make the difference for the struggling Sounders. If there was ever a time for that to work, let's pack the stadium and make it happen this Sunday.