Seattle drew in San Jose in a match that did less to improve the Sounders chances as it did to hurt San Jose’s to get into the playoffs. While Portland and Vancouver each picked up wins, the majority of teams drew and left the door open for the Sounders.
West teams that won:
Portland vs. Real Salt Lake, Vancouver at Columbus, Colorado at Dallas, and LA vs Orlando. Oh and Donovan subbed in that last one.
Real Salt Lake vs LA, Sporting KC vs Houston, and San Jose vs Seattle.
For the Eastern matches, they were interesting with two four goal games (3-1 New England over NYCFC and NY Red Bulls drawing DC 2-2) and are worth watching if you have not. Spoiler alert, DC scores twice at the 89th and later with one being a former Sounder.
- Seattle is tied for most games remaining.
- Seattle plays four of the final seven at home, never playing back-to-back road games.
- Seattle plays two of the three worst teams, both in Seattle.
- Sounders play Vancouver twice.
- Portland plays three road games (they haven’t won on the road) and three games of their five against playoff squads.
- Sporting Kansas City plays three straight games on the road.
- Vancouver plays Seattle for two of its final five matches.
- Hosting Vancouver is San Jose’s only match not against a playoff squad.
The door is wide open with the “games in hand” being Chicago and Houston which in Seattle should be six points combined. Put those together and they are equal on points with Portland and ahead on wins to be in the playoffs. Seattle can drop points and still make the playoffs. Only San Jose has more than five games left to play (seven, same as Seattle) and a much harder strength of schedule.
Most points achievable among teams competing for playoff spots 5 and 6:
Sporting Kansas City - 54
San Jose Earthquakes - 54
Seattle Sounders - 53
Portland Timbers - 53
Vancouver Whitecaps - 49
Now this is based on winning every match, something not possible as SJ and SKC play each other twice. Vancouver plays four of their five games against this list. Portland only plays once against this list while Seattle plays only Vancouver twice from this list.
In any scenario, SJ/SKC will finish with less than Seattle’s magic 53 points and can’t prevent Seattle from finishing 6th. Vancouver, though sitting in seventh currently, is effectively out of the race already unless they win out.
This weekend was not the best result the Sounders could’ve earned at Avaya Stadium but with the most games remaining, they have plenty of time to make it up. Meanwhile the rest of the lower West will likely continue to take away points and rack up draws.