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Red Line Report: Taking the first Cup of ‘19

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Records continue to be set.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

With their first trophy of the year the Sounders put themselves in a position not just to control the red line, but also to capture first in the Western Conference. It will take more than a week to get first, but second could be theirs as soon as Sunday. They could also be as high as third on the Supporters’ Shield table. The Cascadia Cup isn’t just a trophy they captured, it is the reminder that more is available in 2018.

Nine straight wins and a run of 12 without a loss. Summer is for Sounders, so is autumn.

Atlanta United joined New York Red Bulls in qualifying for the postseason. Colorado Rapids joined San Jose Earthquakes in being eliminated.

With Seattle having a double-game week all teams within six points are listed. Yes, that means the Red Line Report includes second place in the West.

Those Above

2nd (bye): FC Dallas - 50/1.79 - 2 home/4 away

Just two weeks ago the Toros looked like they had an outside shot at the Supporters’ Shield, now they could lose their hold on a first round bye. Hosting Columbus (4th East/10th Shield) Dallas had the opportunity to stay in striking distance of Atlanta/Red Bulls. They merely drew.

Defense wins out in scoreless draw between FC Dallas and Columbus - Big D Soccer

Next week: at Vancouver on Sept 23 at 4 PM on ESPN+

3rd: Los Angeles Football Club - 47/1.68 - 3 home/3 away

LAFC lost their best defender, but are holding form going undefeated in their last five. This expansion side looks more like AUFC/SSFC than any other expansion team post-contraction. They should be expected to host a playoff game in their new palace.

Stalemate: LAFC 1, New England Revolution 1 - Angels on Parade

Next week: hosting San Jose on Sept 22 at 12:30 PM on Univision

4th: Real Salt Lake - 45/1.55 - 2 home/3 away

Hosting the worst away side in the league RSL merely drew. RSL is no longer the horrible team that manages to win. Instead they are a good team that manages to give away victory.

RSL draws 1-1 with Minnesota United in late collapse - RSL Soapbox

Next week: at Atlanta on Sept 22 at 4 PM on ESPN+

5th: Seattle Sounders - 44/1.63 - 4 home/3 away

Trophy: check.
Win streak maintained: check
Climbing standings: check

The week could hardly go better.

Whitecaps vs. Sounders, Talking Points: Seattle within three points of 3rd - Sounder At Heart

Double-game week: hosting Philadelphia on Sept 19 at 8 PM on JOEtv and at Galaxy on Sept 23 at 4 PM on FS1

6th: Portland Timbers - 44/1.57 - 3 home/3 away

They played during the bye week, beating the now-eliminated Rapids. That’s good work for a team trying to stay above the red line. Then they faced Houston and got absolutely crushed. They can’t count on games in hand being the difference as they sit even with Vancouver.

Portland Timbers take care of business in 2-0 win over Colorado Rapids - Stumptown Footy

Houston Dynamo score 5; defeat Portland 4-1 - Stumptown Footy

Double-game week: hosting Columbus on Sept 19 at 7:30 PM on ESPN+ and at Minnesota on Sept 22 at 5 PM on ESPN+


Those Below

7th: Vancouver Whitecaps - 40/1.43 ppg - 3 home/3 away

They aren’t within striking distance any more. Vancouver will need significant help to climb into the playoffs, even though they are an above average MLS team (average being 1.33 ppg). The good news for the Whitecaps is that the Galaxy continue their collapse.

Match Report: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Seattle Sounders - Eighty Six Forever

Next week: hosting Dallas on Sept 23 at 4 PM on ESPN+

Sorry Galaxy


Shield Hunt
It’s really just two two teams

  1. Atlanta United 57/2.04
  2. New York Red Bulls 56/1.93

The Maths of Seattle

At last check 538 had Sounders as 4th in West on pace for 55 points. They were 3rd best defense and 15th best attack. Sagarin considered the Sounders 2nd in the West and 5th best overall.

538 now has Seattle as 99% likely to make the playoffs. They are now expected to finish 3rd in the West with 56 points. There is a 33% chance they qualify for a bye. The defense is now considered 4th best with the 14th best attack. There are expected to get at least a draw in every remaining match, with their loss percentage maxing out at 44% (LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo).

Sagarin now has Sounders as 2nd in the West and 4th best overall. They’ve had the third most difficult schedule to this point (confirming, via a different path, DMP’s strength of schedule work). They are favored in five of their seven remaining matches.


2018 Awards Snapshot

MVP

  1. Josef Martinez
  2. OK, Zlatan, you’ll stay on the list. You’re still not winning.

Defensive Player of the Year

  1. Chad Marshall
  2. Aaron Long
  3. Leandro González Pirez

Goalkeeper of the Year

  1. Stefan Frei
  2. Zach Steffen
  3. Sean Johnson