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Sounders August Schedule: Both Hard and Soft

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Two months of frustrating results are gone. Now Sigi Schmid hopes to extend a lossless streak into an August that could be special. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Two months of frustrating results are gone. Now Sigi Schmid hopes to extend a lossless streak into an August that could be special. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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While the June schedule was tough, and the results even worse and the July schedule was tough with decent results August is a month in which one trophy can be won and two others can be set-up for success. Any shot at the Supporters' Shield will demand a month with many points. There's the opportunity to lift the Open Cup with one good game and the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League starts with the longest competitive trip the Seattle Sounders have taken in their MLS history.

If it wasn't for that little tournament that crowns the best in the region travel would be quite light. The MLS schedule just sees a trip to San Jose and one to Los Angeles. Even the Open Cup trip isn't that long as the team heads to Kansas City. While expected results in league play are 7-8 points in 4 to play, things are a bit more complex. Six points in the Champions League would move the Sounders quite a ways onto their goal of the knockout rounds. Of course, the most important match is the last one against an Eastern Conference team unless a magical run in November means that Seattle plays in December.

Numbers won't tell us anything about Caledonia. They aren't in league play yet. Last year's results in small leagues don't indicate this year's expected performances. Of course Sounder at Heart will preview the match, but this monthly look ahead can't tell us anymore than that there is a long trip to end August.

Team

Location

PPM

locPPM

Sagarin

GFper

GAper

Caledonia AIA

Home

LA Galaxy

Home

1.43

1.42

0.68

1.70

1.52

Sporting Kansas City

Away

1.68

1.82

-0.53

1.23

0.95

San Jose Earthquakes

Away

1.91

2.18

-0.79

1.96

1.22

Vancouver Whitecaps

Home

1.48

1.00

0.63

1.13

1.22

Chivas USA

Away

1.30

1.00

0.11

0.70

1.05

Caledonia AIA

Away

Total PPM

HomePPM

AwayPPM

Seattle Sounders FC

1.62

1.90

1.36

1.29

1.05

The first league match is a huge one against the LA Galaxy. They are streaking right now, as hot as they were cold to start the year. They still have defensive issues and the match is on the friendly soil of CenturyLink Field. The crowd will be large as the Chelsea Friendly Four Pack (and now the Rivalry Three Pack) were used to help generate even more tickets sold than typical. Whether David Beckham deems Seattle worthy of his presence shouldn't matter, the 50,000 or so people will be there to see the Sounders in Rave Green.

This is the toughest Open Cup since 2009. While the opponent wasn't as strong as Sporting KC is, Seattle was young back then. Now Seattle isn't a challenger, but the greatest team in the modern era of the Open Cup and the light blue Sporks will try to change the narrative through a performance that is fairly Sounders like. They are staunch defensively with just enough offense to be dangerous, and they are at home where the crowd pushes them to strong performances.

Up next is the last match that can give the Sounders a chance at the Supporters Shield. San Jose is running atop that contest with only Real Salt Lake seen as a chance at catching them, except that the Sounders have two games in hand and twice face the Earthquakes. Even if Sigi's side doesn't make a Shield run, a high point total that gives them a shot at hosting MLS Cup requires a result that is as unlikely as any in the Summer months.

Another Cascadia match is the final home game of August. Like the one versus the Galaxy it will feature a packed stadium. Unlike the Galaxy one it will feature a rivalry that goes back almost 40 years. The still reinventing themselves Whitecaps are grabbing decent results, but they aren't necessarily a good team. They have a negative goal differential and are as poor on the road as any team.

Speaking of bad form where the Sounders play them, meet Chivas USA a team that can't pick up points at home. Earning only a point a match in the friendly confines is a poor enough accomplishment, but doing it while being one of only two teams with a negative home goal differential is down right awful. Quite simply the Sounders have to pick up three points on their trip to LA.

It's not the toughest month the Sounders have in 2012, but with a few trophies essentially hanging in balance it is the most important non-Playoff month. Seven or eight points in MLS, four in the CCL and an Open Cup trophy would be decent. But there's an opportunity for more. Continuing the winning ways that ended July could mean 10 points in league, six in the Champions League and #SE4TTLE. That would set up the stretch run for something truly special.