Is good good enough?

Pondering the standings, what do they mean, what they don't mean and why Gspurning looks curious - USA TODAY Sports

Ask many Sounders fans and they'd tell you this is a disappointing season, that the team just isn't that good. Look at the standings and there may be a different tale. Why is this? Because good is not good enough.

Entering the match they would lose Seattle Sounders FC was a single win short of their best first 16 match start in their short history. They would go onto to lose and the outcry and disappoint was strong. Comments on this site, Twitter, Facebook, pretty much everywhere that talks about the team, are trending to the negative as if the season is spiraling out of control.

It may be too early to look at the MLS Cup Playoff standings, but the Western Conference looks quite tight and Seattle is on the outside.

# Club PTS GP PPG W L T GF GA GD HG HGD RG RGD
1 Real Salt Lake 34 19 1.79 10 5 4 29 18 11 17 9 12 2
2 FC Dallas 31 19 1.63 8 4 7 27 24 3 15 9 12 -6
3 LA Galaxy 30 19 1.58 9 7 3 29 22 7 16 13 13 -6
4 Portland Timbers 30 18 1.67 7 2 9 28 17 11 14 9 14 2
5 Vancouver Whitecaps 29 18 1.61 8 5 5 29 25 4 20 9 9 -5
6 Colorado Rapids 27 20 1.35 7 7 6 23 22 1 12 3 11 -2
7 Seattle Sounders FC 24 16 1.5 7 6 3 21 19 2 14 8 7 -6
8 San Jose Earthquakes 21 20 1.05 5 9 6 20 32 -12 13 2 7 -14
9 Chivas USA 14 18 0.78 3 10 5 16 32 -16 9 -7 7 -9

That's unfamiliar territory. It looks like Seattle has a very tough road to the Playoffs. Yes, there are games in hand, but for those games to matter most the team needs to win them.

"You check it out now and realize you're third from the bottom and and then you realize we have four games in hand on some of the teams, but like I said last week if you don't get results those games are going to start piling up and then you find yourself clawing out of a deep hole. It's not the position we want to be in," Brad Evans said after practice Monday. "Right now it's a little bit early I think. In the blink of an eye all teams are going to be square and even hopefully we're in the right position."

One way to look at that would be to equalize standings via Points Per Game. Seattle is not much better off in the West though. If things were in a single table, or the old Wild Card system existed the Sounders would be in position for the Playoffs.

Club PTS GP PPG W L T GF GA GD HG HGD RG RGD
Montreal Impact 31 17 1.82 9 4 4 31 25 6 20 8 11 -2
Real Salt Lake 34 19 1.79 10 5 4 29 18 11 17 9 12 2
Portland Timbers 30 18 1.67 7 2 9 28 17 11 14 9 14 2
FC Dallas 31 19 1.63 8 4 7 27 24 3 15 9 12 -6
Vancouver Whitecaps 29 18 1.61 8 5 5 29 25 4 20 9 9 -5
LA Galaxy 30 19 1.58 9 7 3 29 22 7 16 13 13 -6
Sporting Kansas City 30 19 1.58 8 5 6 26 19 7 15 5 11 2
Seattle Sounders FC 24 16 1.5 7 6 3 21 19 2 14 8 7 -6
New York Red Bulls 28 19 1.47 8 7 4 25 24 1 14 6 11 -5
Houston Dynamo 26 18 1.44 7 6 5 20 18 2 10 4 10 -2
Philadelphia Union 27 19 1.42 7 6 6 29 29 0 15 3 14 -3
New England Revolution 24 17 1.41 6 5 6 21 14 7 13 9 8 -2
Colorado Rapids 27 20 1.35 7 7 6 23 22 1 12 3 11 -2
Chicago Fire 21 17 1.24 6 8 3 19 25 -6 15 1 4 -7
Columbus Crew 23 19 1.21 6 8 5 23 23 0 10 2 13 -2
San Jose Earthquakes 21 20 1.05 5 9 6 20 32 -12 13 2 7 -14
Chivas USA 14 18 0.78 3 10 5 16 32 -16 9 -7 7 -9
Toronto FC 13 17 0.76 2 8 7 17 24 -7 12 -2 5 -5
D.C. United 10 19 0.53 2 13 4 8 29 -21 7 -10 1 -11

Maybe good is a strong word, but certainly decent. Only four sides had more wins than the 7 Seattle has at this time back when they played only 16 games.

For many teams this would be a good season. But like attendance, the expectations of winning are set by a standard set here, in the Sound with little concern for the rest of the league. The regular season only exists for a segment of the fanbase as a prelude to the MLS Cup Playoffs. In that case a good season that misses the Playoffs because of geography would not be good enough.

Then again those teams at the top of the West are about to start playing each other more often than the East. So good may be good enough.

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