What's the outlook? When Seattle Sounders FC is on, they're on. The dynamic offense powered by Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins will produce goals. The defensive core of Osvaldo Alonso, Chad Marshall, Brad Evans and Stefan Frei ended the regular season tied with Vancouver for the best goals against average in the league. But, it's also a team that showed a lack of chemistry in the final third of the season (even with that eight games unbeaten streak) and if injuries strike they can be downright awful. Sigi Schmid's side should be an MLS Cup favorite and a darkhorse at the same time.
Upcoming opponent: LA Galaxy
How LA got here: 14-11-9 +10, 5th in West, 9th in Shield
Record this season between teams: 0-2-1 -3
Why Sounders have the edge: Defense wins championships.
Why Galaxy have the edge: It's all mental. Seattle will fear LA until they actually beat them in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Why we'll win MLS Cup: Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins are a top 5 all-time forward pairing in MLS. Stopping both is essentially impossible. There's no way to win a shootout with Seattle.
Why we'll fall short: Los Angeles owns Seattle mentally. It's disgusting and cannot be logicked away. Just because they've been awful on the road does not mean the Sounders will be confident.