Despite a 12:00 PM start to the match between Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders, the team is rolling out Soccer Celebration, a “pregame activity zone for fans of all ages.” Occidental Park will feature a live showing of the FA Cup Final and Seattle musician Robert DeLong. DeLong will play a free show at halftime and postgame of the FA Cup.
DeLong is a Bothell native who was on the EA FIFA 14 soundtrack. According to Billboard, EA worked with MLS chief marketing officer Howard Handler to book the MLS Summer Beat with artists featured in the video game.
"EA is a core partner of MLS and we work with them beyond the video game," Handler said. "We like to make sure that the sound of FIFA really reverberates into the whole brand of MLS. Steve [Schnur at Electronic Arts] helped advise and suggested certain bands. The clubs also had a hand in this because they obviously understand their fan base. It was always our belief that our clubs could be defined by some of the local music. That every one of our club markets has an interesting music scene. We've got younger multicultural fans. They've got strong opinions and we really wanted to tap into that."
DeLong’s resumé is highlighted by performances at Bumbershoot in 2015 and Coachella in 2016.
MLS is also hosting prematch concerts in San Jose and Atlanta, with performances by Nortec Collective and Mike Will Made-It, respectively.
The Sounders-Timbers match is on FOX, immediately following the FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Arsenal.