Thank you Jim Mora.
He was right. No team wants to talk about the Playoffs. They just want to win more games.
Now, for the Sounders that includes a Playoff game, preferably at least three.
This match was another where the Sounders played well enough to double their goal scoring total, and also played maybe the worst 15 minutes of soccer in their young history. It started with an unconventional lineup (Jaqua @RM, Vagenas @CM and Evans @ RB), and ended with a few of the USL favorites (Le Toux, Levesque) on the pitch for the clinching moments.
In these quickest of thought we note that Steve Zakuani played quite well, though his two on goal should likely have both been scores. Fredy Montero had a classic "off form" forward's night, missing open nets on at least two occasions.
Nate Jaqua played well as a midfielder, won balls in the air and his teammates routinely didn't get the second ball. When he moved to forward he did what he's done 7 other times this season in taking a powerful tactical position and capitalizing on it.
Roger Levesque has now established a habit of scoring only goals that matter. From his 1' goal at Portland, to his winner in DC, from the winner at C-bus to the tying goal tonight. If there was a win expectancy graph for soccer, Roger Levesque would have the best WE numbers in this league. If any athlete is clutch, Levesque is.
Tonight continues what has been an amazing run for Sounders as they try to copy the Fire in a much more difficult environment. They have a US Open Cup trophy, they have now made the Playoffs. Opponents are to be determined, but as of this writing they are among four teams at 44 points (I'll wait until after the Galaxy/Dynamo match to figure out seeding).
More to come: Stats update, video of the Zakuani crossbar shot, video of Marshall on the corner, video of Levesque on the corner.
Oh, and Jeff Cunningham didn't score tonight. He did get an assist, to run his points streak to something like a million games. Actually just 7 now.