Saturday's game at CenturyLink Field has big implications for the Seattle Sounders, but one of the best moments happened before the first kick.
Nathan Beatty and his family traveled from just outside of Dallas, Texas to Seattle as part of a family bucket list. Nathan, who was recently diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) has been a Clint Dempsey fan for as long as his mother, Tara, can remember.
"Nathan's favorite team is the Seattle Sounders and his favorite player is Clint Dempsey because Nathan's from Texas, and Clint is from Texas and Nathan loves soccer," Tara explained before the match on Saturday.
The Beattys were able to travel to Houston when the Sounders battled the Dynamo last month, but Dempsey didn't make the trip. Despite him not being there to meet Nathan, the family was able to watch warmups from the sideline and meet the team after the match.
"They actually scored in the last ten seconds of the match, so we think Nathan was a good luck charm," said Tara.
Photo courtesy of Huy Nguyen
On Saturday, the family arrived to CenturyLink Field without Nathan knowing he was about to meet Dempsey. Sounders staffer Jessica Hancock, who helped coordinate the visit, handed Nathan a phone, saying that someone was waiting to speak to him. Dempsey was on the other end, walking out to the field to surprise the eight-year-old.
After kicking a soccer ball around on the Xbox Pitch, the family went to the locker room to meet the team and coaches before the match.