The Sounders have amassed 27 points out of a possible 45 over the last 15 matches for a 60% conversion rate, going 8w-4l-3d. That's pretty damn good, but when all things are considered it is proving to be not that great really. Of the last 15 matches there have been 4 quality wins and 3 quality draws (?) with no wins at all since September 13th against RSL.
The August 25th to September 13th run was pretty good (5 wins) no doubt, albeit with a Chivas win in there, but the wins against Portland (nice bounce back to the Dynamo loss) and RSL were the only true tests (Columbus is on a nice run since the Sounder match and coaching change, but up to that point not really doing much, Chicago, well they kinda caught on Fire since. RSL has not done well since their loss with a loss to San Jose, a win against Vancouver and a draw against Dallas). As for the other four of the wins; they came from three teams near the bottom of the table and were to be expected really. There was a little harbinger of things to come here though as the Sounders averaged a +1 goal difference in 4 of the 5 and overall for the 15 matches 20 goals it was 1.33 per match. Interestingly other than the 3-1 Dynamo loss the defense was stellar until Colorado and Vancouver in allowing only 9 goals up to those two matches (of course they doubled the total to 18 after that point).
So, where was the slide? This is based somewhat on whether or not you believe in form (not sure how form can be doubted after this recent display by the Sounders). RSL has been average since that match and really had a bad mini-run of form with a follow up loss to San Jose after the Sounder match. But, when it really could have mattered the Sounders had two draws against a top team from the East and their perennial thorn in their side and recent 2x Cup winner LAG. In looking back those two matches set the tone with poor offensive execution and inability to get wins. Though a draw is considered respectable those two were the lead in to the disaster that has followed with the NYRB home match a truly disappointing and unfortunate result.
Of course it's still possible to make the playoffs and close out 2-0, but it's also mathematically possible to miss the playoffs altogether. This is not the way to close out the regular season, and with all the possible upside of closing out strong with lots to play for [Cascadia Cup, Supporters Shield, top one or two in the seedings and home field, the need not to have to finish with a must win or two . . .], these last 5 matches feel eerily and reminiscently like the playoff flame outs.
The Sounders had a nice stretch their a while ago, but when it really mattered they failed. Maybe they pull it out in the end here, but they are cutting way closer than the should have. On the other hand maybe this is who they really are . . .
I apologize for the image size below. If you click on it you can get an enlarged version.