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September 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Playoff berths up for grabs (Tuesday links)

MLS Logo.jpgMLS has released possible scenarios for three Western Conference teams clinching playoff berths this week.

As I mentioned here over the weekend, Sounders FC is one of those teams and would clinch a fourth-straight trip to the postseason by beating league-leading San Jose on Saturday. MLS noted Seattle would also clinch a berth with a tie if Chivas USA doesn’t win both Wednesday against Columbus and Saturday against D.C. United.

Come Saturday, the Sounders could know if a tie is all they need, but surely they’ll be gunning for a win to have any hope of catching the Earthquakes in the Supporters’ Shield race.

The other teams that can clinch a berth this week are Real Salt Lake and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Both their scenarios are exactly the same: Win on Saturday (RSL plays Portland and LA faces Toronto) and have Chivas USA not win both its games.

As a reminder, San Jose has already clinched a playoff berth, and Toronto FC and New England have each been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

— Our columnist Steve Kelley covered the return of Marcus Hahnemann in the newspaper for us today. You can read that piece here. The new goalkeeper was also a guest on MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio (he comes in at about the 23:00 mark).

— Sounds like the Sounders-Timbers game over the weekend drew a 0.4 rating on NBC, which isn’t great, but it was always going to be difficult competing against college football.

— Here are the minutes from the latest Alliance Council meeting.

Fredy Montero was nominated for MLS Goal of the Week but faces some serious competition.

— Around the league, Real Salt Lake plays a big game in the CONCACAF Champions League tonight, Red Bulls star Thierry Henry was MLS Player of the Week, and here’s an update from San Jose on new arrival Marcus Tracy.

— Sounders FC academy played Jacob Hauser-Ramsey has committed to play college ball at Cincinnati.

Here’s a story on new research showing NFL players suffer more knee and ankle injuries while playing on FieldTurf as opposed to grass (ACL injuries in particular).

— KickTV’s Jimmy Conrad was in Portland over the weekend. He had this interview with Timbers owner Merritt Paulson and provided this video from the game:

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