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15 facts you must know as Sounders start their MLS Cup Playoffs campaign

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Trivia, statistics and more about this year’s MLS Cup Playoffs

Watercolor painting of Brian Schmetzer driving a bus straight to the playoffs Good MLS Watercolors/ @MLSwatercolors

While the MLS Cup Playoffs start this week the Seattle Sounders get to watch. Their participation begins on Sunday (5:30 PM, ESPN). Seattle’s season and history give us a moment to discover just a few more amazing things about the Sounders and coach Brian Schmetzer.

0: The Sounders won the 2016 MLS Cup by failing to register a shot on goal on the road in Toronto and by not allowing Toronto FC to score any goals (as many critics like to forget).

1: Seattle Sounders FC had the best attack in 2017, per American Soccer Analysis expected Goals formula. They also were the third best defense and the best goal differential by the same metric.

2: 538 has the Sounders as the second most likely team to make the MLS Cup. They are also the second most likely team to win MLS Cup.

3: Brian Schmetzer won the league three times as head coach. Twice in the USL (‘05, ‘07) and last year in MLS.

4: There are four rounds in the MLS Cup Playoffs, but the Sounders get to ignore the first one.

5: Only five clubs have two or more MLS Cups. Those are LA Galaxy (5), D.C. United (4), Sporting Kansas City (2), San Jose Earthquakes (2), Houston Dynamo (2). Seattle, Columbus, and Portland could join them.

6: Seattle currently holds six major trophies. Of playoff teams only Sporting KC has more, with seven.

7: Seattle has five Homegrown Players plus area-native Lamar Neagle and one adopted son.

8: Gustav Svensson, Nouhou, Victor Rodriguez, Seyi Adekoya, Kelvin Leerdam, Jordy Delem, Henry Wingo and Zach Mathers are the eight Sounders who have yet to be on an MLS Cup Playoffs roster.

9: Every single season the Seattle Sounders have been in MLS they’ve made the MLS Cup Playoffs. Every year they’ve hosted a playoff game, never finishing lower than 4th in the West or 7th in the Shield race. This is the longest active streak and the second longest streak in MLS history.

10: Clint Dempsey has 10 playoff appearances for the Sounders and will get a chance to make No. 11. He has three goals and one assist in those games.

11: Seattle has 11 MLS Cup Playoff wins from 2009 to the present. Over that stretch they are 11-10-5 +1.

4-1-1 +5
2-1-0 +1
1-1-2 +0
1-2-0 +0
2-1-1 -1
1-1-0 -1
0-2-0 -2
0-1-1 -1

13: MLS Cup Playoff starts for keeper Stefan Frei. He has gone 7-3-3 in those games. No other goalkeeper in Sounders history has more than 6 playoff starts.

14: Representatives from 14 nations are on the Sounders playoff roster.

29: Seattle’s top pro men’s soccer team has made the playoffs 29 times. Seven of those in the NASL, when they made Soccer Bowl twice; 13 times in A-League/USL with four championships and one finals loss; and nine straight appearances while in MLS (1 win!). Schmetzer was head coach for eight playoff appearances, first assistant for seven of them and a player for three more (this only includes his performances for outdoor pro soccer).