Imagine you’re visiting CenturyLink Field as a fan of the opposition for the first time.
As you approach the stadium, you may see a few of your brethren, proudly supporting the visiting team as the buzz of matchday looms around Occidental Avenue.
But in the distance, you hear a rumble.
Your attention turned to the north now, the thundering chorus of the Emerald City Supporters grows more and more booming as they approach down the corridor just east of FX McRory’s. They bend onto Occidental themselves and you see the herd of supporters, many of them with their faces covered as they wave their flags in one hand and perhaps a flare in the other. A curtain of smoke precedes them as they converge on the stadium.
Behind the rowdy supporters of the ECS, though, you can spot children riding on their parent’s shoulders, families marching hand-in-hand and other Rave Green clad fans as they join in the chorus in front of the Sounders FC’s band, Soundwave.
Fans of a wide range meet at Occidental Park and begin the March to the Match 60 minutes before kickoff each week, constructing an eclectic group that are treated to music, games and prizes in the park before the march begins.
Emcee Ken Carson rallies the fans from the stage as the start of the March draws near, giving away Sounders gear to young and old alike. This week, Carson will also be joined by Seattle-area cover band Crème Tangerine, who are scheduled to play for 20 minutes.
Soundwave then blasts a series of tunes, bringing a marching band feel to some top rock and pop songs. Finally, Carson – or a representative from the Sounders FC ownership group – announces the starting lineup, a young fan shouts “Scarves Up” and the March to the Match begins, with the chorus starting 60 minutes before kickoff and doesn’t conclude in the south end of the stadium until well after the final whistle.