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Notion That History Not On Sounders' Side Is ... Kinda Pointless

How Fredy Montero deals with Dema Kovalenko is much more important than whether or not history is on the Sounders' side. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
How Fredy Montero deals with Dema Kovalenko is much more important than whether or not history is on the Sounders' side. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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There are plenty of reasons for Sounders fans to be less than confident for tomorrow's game.

The whole "Sounders haven't scored in 300 minutes of playoff soccer" is certainly concerning. I'm not exactly excited about the prospects of Tyrone Marshall playing 90 minutes. The Galaxy have beaten us three times and outscored us 8-1 in three MLS contests.

These are undeniable facts.

But this idea that history — like years and years of it — is working against teams in the Sounders' position just isn't accurate.

I've heard and read numerous pundits cite this silly statistic: Only two teams have ever lost the first leg at home and come back to win. I even mentioned this very ominous sounding stat earlier this week.

Letting that number stand alone is just plain dumb, though. For one, it ignores the total sample size: Only six teams (not including the Sounders) have ever even lost the first leg at home. Looking just at those numbers, we're talking about a whopping one-third of teams coming from behind to win, hardly an insurmountable task.

Looking a little deeper, we see three of those home-leg losers lost by more than one goal. Of the three that lost by one goal, two of them have come back to win. So two-thirds of teams that lost by one goal at home, managed to advance anyway.

Obviously, three games is a ridiculously small sample size to the point that no real conclusions should be drawn from it.

Of course, that's not stopping many from doing just that. Making matters more frustrating, they're drawing the conclusion that losing at home is a death-knell to advancement hopes.

I'm definitely not suggesting the Sounders have a 67 percent chance of advancing. But next time you hear someone make the argument that history is working against them, feel free to ignore it. This game will be decided by tactics and on-field play, not by the ghost of playoff past.

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