The league was getting impatient and this marks the first week where the Sounders really got beat up in the standings. Not only did the Rave Green drop points but many of the West sides ahead of them picked up points. While the West still has plenty of space for the Sounders to make a charge in, this week was not very kind to them.
Philadelphia Union 4 - Chicago Fire 3: Big scoreline for a match you would usually make a bunch of jokes about either A) Philly starting 11 GKs, B) Neither stadium being in their respective home city, C) Battle for last in the East and so on. This year, it is first versus last and that’s how the results went. Roland Alberg got a hattrick and MLS Fantasy leader Jonathan Campbell had an own goal. After going up 1-0, Chicago collapsed. Then Philly scored 4, and collapsed themselves but were able to hold on at home.
Real Salt Lake 2 - New York Red Bulls 1: This is where the standings started getting hairy for Seattle with RSL taking all three points in a midweek match with the Red Bulls. An early goal for NY set the tone for the first half but it was Movsisyan in the 65th and Jordan Allen with the 87th minute securing all three points at the death. Oh and to put a bow on it, after RSL took the lead Aurelien Collin received an obligatory red card.
LA Galaxy 0 - Colorado Rapids 0: LA in an attempt to push up the table should’ve beaten the Jermaine Jones-less Rapids and vault themselves into a much better position to catch Colorado by the end of the year. Gerrard started on the bench and still no Robbie Keane (EUROs) but you would have expected a goal or something from a game that produced 26 shots.
Sounders 0 - NYCFC 2: Handball goal or not, Zakuani was right about that match and how they need to do better. Dropping points should not have been part of the plan, you can start getting a bit nervous probably.
DC United 2 - New England Revolution 0: Three points for DC pushed them into a playoff spot and ahead of the New England side they played. Lamar Neagle had the first goal and an assist on Sean Franklin’s goal. Games like that make you a bit romantic about having the Federal Way winger in Rave Green again.
Philadelphia Union 2 - Vancouver Whitecaps 3: Well Philly hosted two matches this week, one against basement dwellers, Fire, and a second against water a week of element soccer. Sadly, only three total points this week for the East leaders as the side with the worst PPGs among the West playoff teams entering the week was able to get three goals against a Union side that gave up six goals through the week. Roland Alberg picked up his fourth goal of the week in this one and Chris Pointus gave some hope with a stoppage time goal to make it 3-2, but it was not enough.
Columbus Crew 1 - New York Red Bulls 1: Kamara secured the points for his side at MAPFRE with a stoppage time goal. How you ask, you thought he was traded to New England, didn’t you? Well you’d be right, except this is Ola Kamara, the more level-headed Kamara that played in Ohio. BWP got another goal in this one.
Montreal Impact 2 - Sporting Kansas City 2: Dom Dwyer had two goals in a match that as a Sounders fan you hoped Didier Drogba would take over and win. SKC is a team that pretty much everyone outside of their KC and is sitting between Seattle and the red line (though missing it themselves) and them dropping all three points would be perfect. Getting one is better than three, but it doesn’t matter one is worse than zero for Seattle.
Orlando City 3 - Toronto FC 2: The first half had an early Cyle Larin goal, then just skip to the second for Jordan Hamilton’s 47th minute goal. Skip again to the 80th. Watch the last 20 minutes (yes 10+ stoppage). Adrian Winter got OCSC a lead in the 83rd, Justin Morrow tied it in the 90th again. 10 minutes later, Josh Williams pulled down Julio Baptista in the box and Kaka didn’t think twice converting the game winning PK. It was a fun end and Williams officially received the card for foul and abusive language because the foul in the box wasn’t enough.
FC Dallas 2 - Real Salt Lake 0: After only two points in the last three matches, Dallas roared back at home against a tired RSL squad that had played Wednesday. Kellyn Acosta and Fabian Castillo had the goals. Dallas now sits only one point behind Colorado. Meanwhile Jeff Cassar has his squad that has looked questionable all season in third, four points behind Dallas, with two games in hand on the side they lost to.
San Jose Earthquakes 1 - LA Galaxy 1: California Classico is supposedly the best rivalry match that existed before Seattle joined, or something heartwarming like that to fans in Carson and Silicon Valley. Gerrard started this one against a SJ side that without Chris Wondolowski was not sure where the goals would come from well they came from former Sounder, Chad Barrett. Subbing on in the 9th minute after Victor Bernandez went off with an injury forcing a massive re-org. Barrett headed home a 90th minute Shea Salinas free kick and didn’t hurt himself celebrating. A good result, the best possible result barring a double-forfeit, that Seattle could ask for.
Portland Timbers 3 - Houston Dynamo 2: Houston winning would’ve landed Seattle in last place, but keeping Timbers from three points, would’ve been a better result for the Sounders. A draw, a lose, anything that kept Portland getting the magical 23 points that put you north of the red line right now. In a true MLS fashion, and the theme of the night that saw Copa America end in a PK-shootout, it was two Diego Valeri PK goals in the final 10 minutes and stoppage to win it for Portland. Two first half goals by Houston were not enough after they put Valeri on the spot twice after the 80th minute, a recipe for disaster.
Overall Seattle is not out of it. They are still within striking distance, mathematically, even if the forwards can’t hit from striking distance. They’ll need to turn it around but after their match against TFC, they play five consecutive matches against the West that’ll be six point matches. If they can secure points there, this article has a very different (a happy) ending.