For the Sounders, beating Portland needs no other reward, it seems.
But Sunday’s 1-0 home win had a number of favorable consequences outside of bragging rights in a bitter rivalry. Seattle, which has won four of five games overall, took the Cascadia Cup lead and jumped into a playoff position in the Western Conference.
When you look at points per game, an average that evens things up since the Sounders have played fewer games than everyone leaguewide, you’ll see Sigi Schmid‘s squad ranks second in the West and third overall in MLS.
“We still have games in hand on people, so we continue to gain,” Schmid said. “But it’s also just the team, the confidence.”
The Sounders head to Columbus next, but the three after that will be at home, where Seattle has gone 10 games unbeaten (7-0-3). Here is a look at the upcoming schedule, though Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans will probably be gone for the Sept. 4-7 game due to World Cup qualifying:
Aug. 31 — at Columbus
Sept. 4 — vs. Chivas USA
Sept. 7 — vs. Chicago
Sept. 13. — vs. Real Salt Lake
Sept. 21 — at L.A. Galaxy
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What do you think? What do you make of the state of the team?