Well how about that, the Sounders have won three of their last four, the last time that happened was June 13th with the win over FC Dallas giving us our third in four. Safe to say, it has been a long time since we had a pretty good reason to be this excited. This week only had five total games, including ours, though two of them had no impact on us at all (that Eastern only conference battle). Sounders playoff chances definitely improved this week and you'll see why....NOW.
New England Revs 3 - Orlando City SC 0: I lied...it isn't until the last game that playoff stuff is going to be talked about. It turns out the Orlando City team that looked like they could make the playoffs in the incredibly weak East is going to fail miserably. In their last six games they are 0-4-2, scoring two goals and giving up 17 goals. The Purple Lions are looking more like the Purple Kittens as of late. New England on the other hand has now won four straight and looking the team that made the 2014 MLS Cup. OCSC at least held NE till late, giving up Diego Fagundez's goal in the 43rd but then holding them scoreless till the 84th when Juan Agudelo finished one. Chris Tierney had the final goal, beating Tally Hall far post from about six yards out after a cheeky Lee Nguyen back heel.
Montreal Impact 4 - Chicago Fire 3: Didier Drogba is all that has to be said. In a battle of two of the worst MLS sides, Chicago even tried to get worse by selling Shaun Maloney to Hull City. Anyway, Drogba got his first start of the year and he did it at the Stade Staputo and decided to send the fans home happy, very happy. While the defense definitely needs some help after giving up three to CHICAGO, Drogba can keep them in barn burners with hattricks like in this one. Drogba converted a perfect hat trick, scoring right foot, then left, and lastly with his head. His header came as the result of cleaning up his own rebound, truly excellent work ethic. Gilberto for the Fire enjoyed his return to Canada with a goal himself as well. Anyway, this game meant nothing for anyone's playoff hopes, just two teams trying to rebound before the offseason, I leave you with Drogba's goals.
Sounders FC 2 - Toronto FC 1: You know what happened in this one. Clintfemi is back!!!! Oh and Nelson Valdez is truly a great two way player with fabulous work ethic, I love him and you should too. The team got three points and it was beautiful at times and ugly at times but it worked and that's what matters. On a sidenote, the man who kept fouling Oba and played a pretty good in what was his second MLS game and start, Clement Simonin, is a former Sounders U23 player, so Toronto at has that going for them. They'll rebound and make the East interesting when they get their starters back from injury but don't let their Twitter excuses foul you, the Sounders won this won with true match control.
San Jose 1 - Philadelphia Union 2: The Union did us a solid. That's all there is to it. Conor Casey, who still dislikes San Jose from his days at Colorado I have to assume, decided he wanted to deliver the final punches in this one, tying the match in the 74th and winning it in the 86th. For today only, I love you Conor Casey. Casey was a true number 9 in this one, coming on in the 71st for Sebastian LeToux and scoring twice with his head. Also in true "I look like I would wrestle bears with Marcus Hahnemann fashion (he looks like he could pull off little brother who needs help doing it but wants to come along)" he elbowed Fatai Alashe in the head going up for a ball minutes after coming on to draw a yellow. The loss keeps SJ below the red line and gives the Sounders some extra breathing room, even though we only lead by three points with game in hand, we have more wins and can truly make next week's match a six-point swing. On a related note, can anyone tell me what Philly's #DOOP means?
Ramiro Corrales was inducted into the San Jose Hall of Fame last night as well, some thoughts on that: 1. He was a great player on FIFA 04, though not as much in real life. 2. He'd still be better than most of the SJ starting defense. And 3. the jerseys that he wore for SJ are horrendous.
San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) September 3, 2015
Columbus Crew 0 - FC Dallas 3: This match guaranteed that Sounders couldn't stay in 5th in the shield race, but thanks to the Dallas blow out we only fell to 6th instead of 7th with a draw. Bad news, we fall from 3rd to 4th with Dallas sitting in 3rd, three points ahead of the Sounders.
Last night's win gave the Sounders the ability to leap over a couple of teams in the standings and back into a position where they truly control their destiny. Oh and don't look know, we have the second most wins and are 6th in the Shield, only Vancouver has more wins. Sadly a couple teams below us have games in hand on us (pretty much everyone but LA does) but remember that old saying "Games in hand are only good if you win them" well let's just make sure we win ours and then it won't matter if they win 'em.
Sounders 2 also played yesterday with Sounders bench regular Darwin Jones starting and Sounders rotational starter, Michael Azira was on the bench with the developmental side. Damion Lowe, who normally starts, sat on the bench with Ashani Fairclough and Jimmy Ockford. The defense looked suspect again, giving up two goals in this one. The offense got going but couldn't find the back of the net, falling 2-1.
S2 has been falling lately and it has truly cost them in the playoff department, sitting in 5th and are the top team to not have clinched a playoff spot with OKC, Colorado Springs, Orange County, and LA II locking up their spots. Sacramento sitting in 6th, a point behind with two in hand, is the only major threat to S2's 5th place spot. With Tulsa being the only other team in playoff contention still in the West, it is three teams for two spots and the Sounders have the game in hand on Tulsa and the lead currently by three points. Expect us to make it, but backing into the USL Playoffs. S2 only has two games left in the 28 game season, with their remaining games both at home where they are 10-2-0. They have truly made Starfire their own fortress this season.