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The Sounders fan guide to FIFA World Cup 2018

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Russia is hosting the world’s greatest sporting event, and the United States isn’t there.

Russia kicks off the World Cup facing Saudi Arabia at 8:00 AM Thursday June 14. As is tradition, the host nation welcomes the eyes of the world to the greatest sporting event on the globe. Due to several failures the USA is not at the World Cup, but the most popular team in America will be. It will be a tough task for Mexico to advance out of the Group Stage as they face Germany, South Korea and Sweden.

Yes, the Seattle Sounders are playing through the World Cup

This cycle MLS will not take a break during the World Cup (they aren’t the only league doing so. Brazil, Chile, Scandinavia are among the leagues also playing through it). Seattle however, is on a break for the first ten days, which is a much needed rest

FOX is showing several MLS games immediately following World Cup action. Atlanta United host Portland Timbers on June 24 at 1:30 PM right after Poland/Colombia. On June 30 the Seattle Sounders host Portland Timbers at 1:30 PM after a quarterfinals match between the winner of Group A and the second place team in Group B. July 1 at 1:30 PM Toronto FC face New York Red Bulls after the Group D winner faces the Group C second place team. Los Angeles Football Club host Orlando City SC on July 7 at 1:30 PM after a quarterfinals match. Atlanta United host Seattle after the World Cup Final on July 15.

The Sounders are hosting a viewing party for the final double-header.

Held at Seattle Center’s Next 50 Plaza, this free event gives fans the opportunity to take in the excitement of the FIFA World Cup Final at 8:00 a.m. PT, followed by cheering on the Rave Green as they face Atlanta United on the road at 11:00 a.m. PT. Network FOX is televising Sounders FC’s match following the World Cup Final, with Brian’s Schmetzer’s side visiting Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time in club history

Both matches will be shown on a giant outdoor screen, while food and beverage options are available for purchase, including a beer garden. There is no charge for general admission to the viewing party and a variety of giveaways and other entertainment will take place between the matches.

Who should I root for?

Yeah, the United States didn’t make the World Cup. Point your hate at Jurgen Klinsmann, or Bruce Arena, or any number of players. Point your love at one of these four teams that did qualify for the World Cup.

Sweden because of Gustav Svensson

The Goose is loose, and he’s on a roster at the World Cup while Zlatan is busy doing a Visa credit card promotion rather than playing soccer (and might miss some LA Galaxy games while doing so). For Sweden Svensson is mostly a substitute defensive mid, but he has also appeared at right back and right mid in spot service.

Sweden opens on Monday June 18 at 5:00 AM against South Korea. Their second match is Saturday June 23 at 11:00 AM against Germany. They end the Group Stage on Wednesday June 27 at 7:00 AM against Mexico.

Panama because of Roman Torres

This is their first trip to the World Cup and it is because of national hero Roman Torres. He’s healthy, fit and ready to wear the armband. Panama is unlikely to advance. Group G features seeded team Belgium, England, and Tunisia.

Panama opens on Monday June 18 at 8:00 AM against Belgium. Their second match is Sunday June 24 at 5:00 AM against England. They wrap up the Group Stage with a Thursday June 28 11:00 AM game against Tunisia.

Peru because of Raul Ruidiaz

The soon-to-be-a-Sounder is a regular sub for Peru who will probably start one match in the Group Stage just because squad rotation is vital when playing so many key matches in a short period of time. Peru is in Group C with favorite France, a strong Denmark and Australia. Their path to the knockout stage likely involves a draw against Denmark, a big win over Australia and stout defense in a loss to France.

Peru opens on Saturday June 16 at 9:00 AM against Denmark. Their second match is Thursday June 21 at 8:00 AM against France. They finish the Group Stage on Tuesday June 26 at 7:00 AM against Australia.

Who ever you want.

Whether you choose due to your own heritage, or because a favorite player for a non-Seattle soccer team it doesn’t matter. We only care that you enjoy soccer and there will be a lot of it on the screen. I’m going to default to the Arab teams (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia) because Arab soccer is a large part of why I love this sport. None of them are going to win. It would be surprising if more than one advances out of the Group Stage and unless Mo Salah conquers Russia, Arabian soccer won’t feature for long. I guess Tunisia could have a fun run, mainly because they’re in the group with England and there is always a chance that England fails.

How can I watch games?

FOX has the English language rights. Games will be on broadcast FOX and FS1. Most of their play-by-play calls will be done via remote, while their studio shows will be more of an even mix between remote and on-location. They will air preview and recap shows, including a World Cup Tonight program every evening on both FS1 and FOX (at midnight no matter the time zone).

2018 FIFA World Cup on FOX Broadcast Guide

NBC has the Spanish language rights that they will mostly use via Telemundo though some games are going to be on NBC Sports Net. They will also stream via the Telemundo website and the NBC Sports Net app. They have four announcing teams on site and hundreds of personnel scattered around Russia for the event. They will have encores on Universo.

FuboTV will have streams in both English and Spanish available. SlingTV will offer streams in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French and Polish. Spanish audio streaming will be available via Futbol Primera Radio.

Good news! If you didn’t memorize that, every day Chris Tobin will remind Sounder at Heart readers what matches are scheduled for the day and how to follow them.

Where should I watch the games with my friends?

Seattle

Rhein Haus will be opening for the 8:00 AM games and playing audio. This German-themed bar is soccer focused.

Atlantic Crossing will be opening for the 8:00 AM games and may expand their hours on the weekends (contact them for more info). This soccer bar will play audio.

Beer Authority will be opening for the 8:00 AM games and may expand their hours on the weekend (contact them for more info). They are not a soccer bar, but will have audio.

The Lodge Sports Grille - West Seattle will be opening for the 8:00 AM games. They are not a soccer bar, but will be playing audio. They welcome all fans.

Turtle Coffee will be opening for the 5:00 AM games. They are not a bar, they serve coffee.

Die Bierstube will be open for all Germany games.

The George & Dragon Pub in Fremont will be open for the 5:00 AM games and will be playing audio. You can view their telly schedule—including match replays—here.

The Dray in Ballard is a small soccer bar that will be open for the 5:00 AM games and will be playing audio.

Eastside

Dubliner Irish Pub will be open for the 11:00 AM games, as well as scattered earlier times (the opener and likely most Morocco games). They will often play audio. This is one of my customers in my beer job.

Henry’s Tavern - Bellevue will be open for the 11:00 AM games. They will probably not play audio. This is one of my customers in my beer job.

Berliner Pub will be open for the 11:00 AM games and will likely be open for the Germany matches. They will play audio. They are a soccer bar and host SonarFeed.

North End

Arena Sports - Mill Creek will be open for the 8:00 AM games. They will have audio. Both breakfast foods and burgers will be available.

South End

Doyle’s Public House will be open for every game, yes even the 3:00 AM game. They will have audio and breakfast at 7:00 AM on weekdays and 6:00 AM on weekends. They have a passport to enter a contest for tickets to Sounders at Timbers and more.

Dryside

Pacific Avenue Pizza will be open for the 11:00 AM games. They may have audio. They will have a $6 pint and slice deal.