Sounders won again, this time in a gritty game that you don’t have to feel dirty about winning. It was Seattle’s fourth win in a row, fifth straight result and they did it north of the border to officially eliminate Vancouver from the playoffs. Besides Seattle eliminating teams from playoff ability two matches in a row (Chicago on Wednesday), the rest of the league is doing their part to eliminate themselves from playoff spots.
Orlando, Chicago, and Vancouver are the only clubs that officially can not make the MLS playoffs now. Orlando was beaten at home, before the storm fully rolled through, by the Montreal Impact in the first Sunday match. Dominic Oduro's goal puts Montreal squarely in the driver's seat for one of the three remaining Eastern Conference playoff spots.
Friday’s match in Houston started the weekend off with the East beating the West with NYCFC grabbing a 2-0 victory in Texas and almost eliminating Houston from contention, but instead put them on a precipice or Seattle to knock them off on the 12th. David Villa had both goals in that one and here’s the better of his two.
Only one match on Saturday was an East v. West fight and again it was the East with New England beating Sporting KC in Foxboro 3-1. Kei Kamara finally took control with a goal and an assist in a mowing over of his final MLS club of his first tenure in the league. NY Red Bulls and DC each picked up another win in their streaks over Philly and Toronto respectively. Columbus continues to climb out of the basement with a 3-0 win over a tired Chicago club.
In the West, every result helped Seattle. The LA Galaxy managed a 1-0 loss in Dallas with a late first half Walker Zimmerman goal as the Galaxy continue a very questionable road form as they limp into the playoffs. Meanwhile in the Mile High City, Colorado grabbed a 1-0 victory over Portland with former Sounder, Sebastian LeToux, grabbing the game winner. The Rapids also won the yellow card battle 6-2, with Chara and Adi being the inevitable cards for the Timbers. Portland’s loss gives Seattle a significant cushion while LA’s means Seattle still has a shot at 3rd place with only four points and an extra game separating the two.
San Jose hosted Real Salt Lake in the final match of Saturday night with either result giving Seattle a benefit. If RSL won, SJ would have a near impossible time catching Seattle. A draw would have been unfortunate since RSL would still be able to get an extra point against Seattle and any point would be helpful for SJ. If SJ won, as they did 2-1, it would still let them catch anyone for the last spot but RSL is vulnerable and Seattle can easily get the 4th place spot in the final match of the season when they host RSL. Simon Dawkins and Fatai Alashe are the two scores with the second-year Alashe getting the winner.
Seattle can technically finish as high as 2nd but that is a very remote scenario. In reality, top three is possible with the right results. However, 4th is the most attainable as any points in the next two matches will mean the Sounders can pass RSL with a win in the finale regardless of other results. Think of it this way, Seattle sat in 10th at one point. It wasn’t until a couple this week that they were even above the red line. Now they might be hosting a playoff match. Crazy, wild, and well worth it.