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October 1, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Poll: What playoff seed will Sounders FC get?

MLS Logo.jpgIt’s official: Sounders FC will be back in the playoffs.

Now comes the race for seeding in the Western Conference, as there’s a drastic difference between a No. 2 and No. 4 finish.

A quick glance at the MLS standings tells us Seattle cannot finish lower than fourth (neither Vancouver nor Dallas can catch up) and has a 0.00000001% chance of finishing first (Sounders would have to win out, have San Jose lose out, and make up 20 goals in the goals-scored tiebreaker).

That means a No. 2-4 finish is almost certainly in line. So what are the main differences?

Well, the fourth seed has to host the fifth seed in the first round of the playoffs just to make it to the conference semifinals, where the reward of winning would be a matchup with league-leading San Jose (a team that won all three MLS games against the Sounders this season).

The No. 2 and 3 seeds face off in the conference semifinals, but the No. 2 seed has home-field advantage in the second leg, and the seeding is also preferential for potentially hosting the MLS Cup and/or backing into a 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League berth.

Here’s a three-team look at the contender for the No. 2-4 seeds and their remaining games:

Real Salt Lake: 16-11-4 (31 games, 52 points), at LA, at Seattle, vs. Vancouver

LA Galaxy: 15-11-5 (31 games, 50 points), vs. RSL, at San Jose, vs. Seattle

Sounders FC: 13-7-10 (30 games, 49 points), vs. Portland, vs. RSL, vs. Dallas, at LA

Seattle has the fewest points but appears to have the easiest schedule, a home-heavy slate and also a game in hand. So how to do you think the Sounders will finish?

* * *

What playoff seed do you think will Sounders FC get?

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