Sounders Clinch Playoffs, Maintain Chance At Cascadia Cup

Jeff Vinnick - Getty Images

No, a draw is not good enough. Against bad teams the Sounders should win, even on the road. Still they qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for a 4th straight season and still can win the regional rivalry cup.

It's hard to get excited when the Ideal XI takes the field against a mediocre team and only gets a draw. Seattle Sounders FC did the right things, except for the little scoring goals thing. That's a problem though. Scoring goals is important in soccer. Recent form has the Sounders with 12 goals in the last 5 played.

Form lies. Eight of those goals and two of the wins (the only wins) were against poor Chivas USA. The Sounders are having trouble unlocking space to attack the opponent's goal. Against Vancouver the best chances were on moments of brilliance or just missed brilliance. Mauro Rosales nearly fed Brad Evans on a breakaway, but the pass was not at the feet or head and Evans misjudged that aspect.

Fredy Montero also had a chance or two at amazing. Nothing was close enough. Christian Tiffert also created an opportunity late, nothing came of it.

Despite an advantage in passing, in crossing, in possession and equal or near-equal in attempts on goal and duels the Sounders could not provide offense. Vancouver had to use two subs in the first half and still Seattle did not take advantage.

This is the definition of backing into the Playoffs. Except that there are games left. And that form is a lie. The lineup brought out tonight only has two matches together and in those matches is 1-0-1 with a +4 goal differential. It is possible that neither team this lineup faced will make the Playoffs.

Jeff Parke and the Sounders limited the Vancouver Whitecaps chances. The backline and Gspurning did everything that was expected of them. An offense of Montero-Johnson-Tiffert-Rosales-Evans-Zakuani could not score a goal.

There are still three home games and a road game heading into the short season. Those are now practice and positioning (this kind of matters, because there could be a stadium conflict for Seattle). It is practice that is needed. There is a disjointed nature to the attack that is not related to the presence of Rosales. It's deeper and while not necessarily systematic (let's watch the game again) it is problematic.

Good but not great in the regular season could be good enough - or not. It could just be a case of too much turnover in too little time.

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