Starting off with a negative, but we’ll build the hype from there: The Sounders are still 9th in the West. The good news is we have matches in hand and we are still within striking distance. And it turns out Nicolas Lodeiro can score (or get someone to score) at anytime and from anywhere. This should be when the hype train starts because while some of the draws might have been better with a loss (Colorado or Dallas winning would’ve been better), every Western Conference game was a loss or draw for the club competing with Seattle in the standings. Let’s take a trip down this weekend’s Western Conference matches, brought to you by the draw, your favorite name for a tie.
Vancouver Whitecaps 1 - San Jose Earthquakes 2: So maybe this one is not a great solution, but still a pretty sweet one. Vancouver dropped points and sit only three points above Seattle. San Jose is four points ahead, they are not a threat. They are not a bad side but typically have a late season collapse. Nicolas Mezquida’s 94th minute goal was a late consolation for the home fans before they left in disgust over another poor performance.
New York Red Bulls 3 - Montreal Impact 1: Sean Davis, have you heard of him? Nor had I but after two assists and a goal for New York after they went down early (1-0) to Ignacio Piatti’s goal, you will know about him. He was playing in Dax McCarty’s position in a 4-2-3-1 with Dax out. Go sign him in MLS Fantasy and move on because this is East Coast soccer.
Columbus Crew 3 - NYCFC 3: I don’t want to spend much time on this because I’d rather you go watch it. It was fun, it was sloppy and most importantly, full of goals. 1-0 at the half for NYCFC before things went crazy when Columbus converted a PK at the 80th to take a 2-1 lead. The final 10 plus stoppage had three more goals before the whistle. (The final four goals are split between Ethan Finlay and David Villa, each with a PK)
New England Revolution 0 - Philadelphia Union 4: So Kei Kamara is not a goal scoring machine this season but Philly is as a team. Bedoya played but nothing special.
DC United 2 - Portland Timbers 0: Great result, just absolutely wonderful. Steve Birnbaum did not end up transferring to any of the clubs bidding for his service this summer and then the young CB scored in this one and is credited with the winning goal. Luciano Acosta scored in the 29th for an insurance goal and kept them ahead of Portland the whole night.
FC Dallas 2 - Sporting Kansas City 2: This is another one that could’ve been a little different for the best impact, SKC getting zero points would have been better if for no other reason than I dislike Peter Vermes. They sit in 5th, eight points ahead with three more matches played, but they could’ve been only seven points ahead (coincidentally that is how many points Seattle has in the last three matches). Tesho Akindele and Maximiliano Urruti were the bookends in a 10 minute spread of four goals. Dom Dwyer’s double tied and gave KC a lead they couldn’t hold.
LA Galaxy 1 - Colorado Rapids 1: There was hope when Colorado went up 1-0 in the 51st from a Gashi goal that they would hold onto it. Playing in LA and getting the first goal has worked enough for teams this year with LA being a fairly vulnerable squad most of the season, but Colorado’s defense couldn’t hang on, conceding 11 minutes later to Dos Santos/Steres. Gerrard sent in a corner that Steres headed from the near post across the face of goal and it looked like it was going in. Gio does appear to get a touch, but whether it’s before it crosses the line or at all is not the most clear, though Gio is getting credit now according to MLS (he wasn’t as of yesterday).
Chicago Fire 2 - Orlando City 2: Firing Adrian Heath has not really helped with Orlando going 1-1-1. Winning in New England they looked pretty good, but they looked sluggish against Seattle and fairly disinterested in a 2-2 tie in Bridgeview, IL. It took only six minutes for Orlando to give up a goal to John Goossens. Cyle Larin tied it up three minutes later and just after the 30 minute mark, Kaka took the lead. Holding a lead, especially on the road, has been near impossible and that proved true with a 78th minute goal for Cocis. Chicago is not a good team and you would’ve expected them to lose but nope, Orlando is a poor defensive side and they showed it.
Sounders 2 - RSL 1: No worries, be happy. Hay fe. Playoff run. Nicolas Lodeiro got his first and looks amazing. Have hope, have belief, fear only fear, and some other giant list of cliches. This club is starting to click and results are going their way.
Houston Dynamo 1 - Toronto FC 1: This match was supposed to be Saturday night but a rain delay and then lightning made the field conditions unsafe (even without electricity running through the goal posts). Houston postponed a day and earned a draw against a much better TFC side. Houston not winning is always good because it means Seattle can’t be caught from behind if they slip up, TFC getting a point is just kind of so what.
Seattle is in 9th in the West. They still have a lot of slots to go, but with two games in hand on 6th, there is time and a plan. We are only down five points on 6th. Three in hand on 5th and eight points back, there is still a route that does not require every player being superhuman and a miracle to get into the playoffs. If the boys play good soccer and do not let this get away from them, we could still hoist the MLS Cup this year.