Posted below are the updated standings in the Western Conference after Saturday night’s MLS games. Sounders FC dropped from second to fourth but has a game on hand on both the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake — two teams that clinched playoff berths Saturday when Seattle could not.
The Sounders have games against both competitors for the No. 2 seed in the final five games of the season:
Sept. 29 — at Vancouver
Oct. 7 — vs. Portland
Oct. 17 — vs. Real Salt Lake
Oct. 21 — vs. FC Dallas
Oct. 28 — at LA Galaxy
I asked coach Sigi Schmid about the ramifications of falling to fourth place, particularly after he mentioned wanting to avoid falling past the No. 3 seed (the fourth and fifth seeded teams in the West play a one-game playoff before likely facing San Jose in the conference semifinals).
“We just need to make sure we win games,” said Schmid, who noted the game in hand. “We can sit there and say, ‘The sky is falling,’ but I don’t think it’s falling yet.”
Once again, Seattle needs just a tie in their next league game in Vancouver to clinch a playoff spot.
The only way the Sounders won’t clinch a playoff berth is if they lose their remaining five games and FC Dallas wins all four of its remaining games. Also, Dallas would have to outscore Seattle by at least 10 goals due to the goal-scored tiebreaker.
Seems like a formality at this point; the important thing will be at least a top-three finish.
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