The margins in the 1-nil loss to the LA Galaxy were much closer than possession or shots indicated. Seattle Sounders FC clearly had a chance at a draw. But that chance was probably better than you remember it. The double-save prevented a goal. It also wasn't the only path to a goal for the team.
Tentative xG maps for the MLS playoffs. First LA-Seattle. More than 50% of Seattle's xG from that double save at 20'. pic.twitter.com/Y0tBQMjWLD— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) November 24, 2014
A goal in that moment gives Seattle a greater than 50% chance to win using a win expectancy model. Even if one assumes that rest of the match plays out as it did until LA score, Seattle would still be expected to get a point or better in 60% of cases (again, per win expectancy).
Penedo's double-save was possibly the most important moment of the match, even more than Sarvas' goal.
These data points are also an indication of how close the match was. Sure, LA pounded RSL in the Playoffs. Other teams looked poor as well. This isn't last year's Sounders (or the year before, or before, or before). This is a team that can manage a game, or can run with the best.
So are the Galaxy. These are two of the best 10 teams in league history. One of them could treble. The other could have the greatest send-off for the best player who made MLS his league of choice.
There's a razor's edge of difference, and the voices of 40,000+ plus ready to fuel a fire-breathing hydra.