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October 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Want the No. 2 seed in the West? Sounders better not lose to Real Salt Lake

MLS Logo.jpgFor months now, Sounders FC’s stated goal has been earning a top two seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

With that in mind, Seattle can’t afford a loss at home Wednesday against Real Salt Lake. If you take a look at the conference standings posted below, a Sounders defeat would all but clinch the No. 2 seed for RSL (Seattle’s only shot would be to win out, have Salt Lake lose its last game, and then finish with more goals scored).

Sounders defender Zach Scott called Wednesday’s game tremendously important.

“We really want to get second place in hopes that, when it comes down to it, we’ll get far enough to host MLS Cup,” he said.

“What’s important now is to get us in the best playoff position we can,” added coach Sigi Schmid.

Sounders FC’s other remaining games are versus FC Dallas on Sunday and at the Los Angeles Galaxy on Oct. 28.

L.A. also plays at San Jose on Sunday. Real Salt Lake’s last game is at home next week versus Vancouver.

“It would be good if we don’t need (a result in) the last game in L.A.,” said goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. “Let’s achieve this at home against Salt Lake and Dallas — get the points here — so there’s a little less pressure in the game against L.A.”

It won’t come easily for the Sounders, who haven’t beaten — or even scored against — Real Salt Lake this season. Seattle is 1-4-4 overall against teams with more points in the standings.

I asked Schmid today if the Sounders need a win for confidence with a 0-4-1 record against Western Conference powers San Jose and RSL.

“I don’t care if we don’t beat them in the regular season, as long as we beat them in the playoffs,” the coach said. “There are times when we’ve beaten those teams in the regular season and we didn’t win in the playoffs. … I think it’s tough to beat a quality team four times or five times, so from that standpoint the odds maybe reverse itself.

“For us, it’s important we know every game we’ve played against San Jose, we were in every game. So now we’ve just got to figure out the little bit to tip it and make it go our way. And we know in the two games we’ve played against Salt Lake we’ve been in the game all the time. So it’s just a matter of making sure we tip the game in our direction. A win certainly helps the confidence, but it’s something for us where wins in the playoffs are the most important.”

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standings101612.jpg

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