Ever since their first year in MLS, the Seattle Sounders have shown a penchant for snapping long unbeaten streaks. They’ll have a chance to stop one of the league’s most impressive ones on Sunday when the face the New York Red Bulls, who haven’t lost in 18 regular-season matches dating back to last season. If the Red Bulls get at least a point, they’ll tie the Columbus Crew (July 3, 2004-April 2, 2005) and FC Dallas (May 27, 2010-Oct. 9, 2010) for the longest unbeaten runs in league history.
Here’s a list of the some of the notable streaks the Sounders have stopped over the years:
Crew’s 22-game home unbeaten streak
Oct. 3, 2009: The Crew had turned the home stadium into quite a fortress while making a run to the MLS Cup in 2008 and competing for the Supporters’ Shield the following year. When the Sounders rolled into town on their quest to become the first MLS expansion team in more than a decade to qualify for the playoffs, the Crew had gone unbeaten in their past 22 at home. But an opportunistic Roger Levesque goal, some help from the woodwork and Guillermo Barros Schelloto missing a penalty (aided by some impressive grounds crew work by Tyrone Marshall) allowed the Sounders to prevail.
Real Salt Lake’s 29-game home unbeaten run
May 28, 2011: Through their 2009 MLS Cup run, all of 2010 and the start of 2011, no one had beaten RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium. Until the Sounders did it. In a heavy rainstorm, the first goal was off a scramble in the box that Patrick Ianni poked home and Lamar Neagle effectively sealed it with a blast from about 25 yards out.
Monterrey’s 13-game international unbeaten streak
Aug. 23, 2011: No one gave the Sounders much of a chance when they went to Mexico for a CONCACAF Champions League group stage game. Only one MLS team had ever won in Mexico before — and it happened to come a day earlier — and the Sounders put out a solid “B” squad. But Alvaro Fernandez slotted home a Pat Noonan feed a few minutes before halftime and the Sounders held on for dear life from there.
Sporting KC’s 14-game home unbeaten streak to open Livestrong Park
Aug. 6, 2011: For 89 minutes, it looked like a safe bet that Sporting KC would run their stadium-opening streak to 15 games. But then Mauro Rosales slid a shot past Jimmy Nielsen to equalize as the match ticked into stoppage time. Obviously, that wasn’t enough, though. Barely a minute later, a ball squirted along the outside of the penalty box where it was found by Lamar Neagle. His shot wasn’t pretty, but it too evaded Nielsen. The Sounders won 2-1.
RSL’s 12-game unbeaten run to start 2014
May 31, 2014: The two best teams in MLS squared off in a midseason encounter, with RSL one match away from tying the league record for longest unbeaten streak to start a season. It was a one-sided affair. A penalty from Gonzalo Pineda just before halftime led into a three-goal second-half outburst as the Sounders cruised to their ninth win in their first 14 matches.
Galaxy’s 15-game home unbeaten streak
Sept. 25, 2016: By the time this game rolled around, the Sounders’ season appeared to be back on track. But this was the game that made even the most skeptical fans believers. After falling behind early, a Galaxy own-goal tied it up and then Jordan Morris kinda took over. His destruction of Daniel Steres was one of the signature moments of the season and Osvaldo Alonso’s rasping 30-yard strike put the final touches on the Sounders’ first road win against the Galaxy since 2009.
Rapids’ 18-game home unbeaten streak
Nov. 27, 2016: Only a handful of teams have gone a full regular-season without a single loss at home. Well, the Rapids did just that, allowing just seven goals in 18 games at Dick’s Sporting Good Park (including their first playoff game). The Sounders didn’t need to win this game, but Morris’ second-half goal allowed them to do just that and book their first-ever trip to the MLS Cup.