Sounders Insider

Sounders Saturday: Club healthy, but challenges for fans

New MLS security measures didn’t seem to slow things down for small crowd last weekend at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where Sounders played Rapids. Those measures will be introduced Saturday at CenturyLink Field.
New MLS security measures didn’t seem to slow things down for small crowd last weekend at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where Sounders played Rapids. Those measures will be introduced Saturday at CenturyLink Field. Staff writer

The Sounders have concluded training in advance of their 1 p.m. Saturday match against the Columbus Crew at CenturyLink Field.

Coach Sigi Schmid indicated his club is in generally good health for the match, with M/F Andread Ivanschitz the only regular certainly out.

However, there will be some distinct issues for fans attending the match in person. Below are some reminders from the club:

Seattle Sounders FC is encouraging fans to arrive early ahead of Saturday's clash against Columbus Crew SC on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field (1:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, ROOT SPORTS, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM). Saturday's match marks the conclusion of Impact Seattle, a two-week slate of widespread community events across the greater Seattle metropolitan area in support of GiveBIG 2016, and features a non-profit fair in the North Plaza. Additionally, the Alaskan Way Viaduct / State Route 99 is set to be closed from the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel to Spokane Street for two weeks beginning Friday, April 29.

In honor of Sounders FC's GiveBIG match, the CenturyLink Field North Plaza is featuring a non-profit fair where Sounders FC supporters have an opportunity to learn more about select beneficiaries of GiveBIG who are working hard to serve those in the community who need it most. Non-profits participating include Seattle Children's, Youth in Focus, WA Green Schools, Seattle Humane (who are set to have animals available for adoption on-site), Virginia Mason Foundation, United Way of King County, Washington Youth Soccer, Treehouse, Peace Corps, WOZA, The Hope Heart Institute and PikeUp - the Pike Place Market Foundation.

Sounders FC is also airing this year's official GiveBIG PSA pre-match featuring Sounders FC captain Brad Evans and music provided by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. GiveBIG is Seattle Foundation's one-day online charitable giving event, this year taking place on Tuesday, May 3. To schedule a donation now for any of Seattle Foundation's participating GiveBIG non-profits, visit the following link:

A pre-match party is taking place at The NINETY, Sounders FC's event space located at the club's Pioneer Square headquarters. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. PT, with beer available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds benefitting the club's community partners. The CenturyLink Field gates open at 11:30 a.m. PT, with food trucks from Skillet and Galaxy Donuts in the NW Plaza available through halftime.

Sunday's March to the Match festivities begin at 11:00 a.m. PT in Occidental Park and include a performance by local band Detective Agency. The March itself, one of the best traditions in American sports started by the Emerald City Supporters, departs from Occidental Park at 12:00 p.m. PT for CenturyLink Field.

Those inside the stadium on Saturday are invited to stop by the following Soccer Celebration booths for activities and prizes from various corporate sponsors. Soccer Celebration activities are located at the Northwest Gate, inside the stadium at the North Plaza and throughout the CenturyLink Field Plaza.

•Great Clips - Visit the Great Clips Hairspray booth to get your hair sprayed with your favorite team colors to support and cheer on Sounders FC.

•McDonald's - McDonald's Restaurants of Western Washington are set to be outside the northwest gates in Soccer Celebration giving out free samples of French fries.

•76 - Get to the match early and make sure to get your KickBack Card upon entrance into the stadium courtesy of 76®! Fans can win up to $760 in Kickback points when you enroll and swipe. All 76® stations in the Seattle area are giving away over 90,000 in Kickback points today. Just enroll and swipe!

•76 Sideline Upgrade - When fans show a Kickback Card or sign-up for and enroll a new card, the match experience can be upgraded through the 76® Sideline Upgrade and includes a swag bag! Visit the 76® Gasoline booth by the Red Zone Suite entrance before the end of halftime each regular season Sounders FC home match.

Fans are also encouraged to plan in advance for Major League Soccer's new elevated security standards. The updated policy does not permit bags larger than 14"x14"x6" inside CenturyLink Field, in addition to coolers and ice chests regardless of size. Complete information on the new bag policy can be found via the club's stadium guide through the following link:

GiveBIG 2015 inspired 39,036 individual donors to contribute $16.3 million to over 1,700 nonprofits, and Seattle Foundation this year is attempting to reach $20 million to help those in the community who need it most. On the morning of Tuesday, May 3, Seattle Foundation and Sounders FC kick-off GiveBIG 2016 with the nonprofit community and event sponsors for the second-straight year at The NINETY. That evening, the club is joining Seattle Foundation and KEXP to celebrate the magic of GiveBIG at KEXP's new studio in Seattle Center.

Following last weekend's road loss, Sounders FC (2-4-1, 7 points) hosts Columbus Crew SC (2-3-2, 8 points) Saturday afternoon on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m. PT, with pre-match television coverage from JOEtv beginning at 12:30 p.m. PT. Saturday's contest is also being broadcast locally on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM and El Rey 1360 AM, and throughout the Pacific Northwest on ROOT SPORTS.