Coming off arguably the worst half of soccer they’ve played all season, the Seattle Sounders will be trying to avoid their first losing streak of the season when they visit the LA Galaxy to make up a game that was originally scheduled for Aug. 26.
Get some rest
The Sounders are playing their fifth match in 18 days and are just about done with a stretch in which they’ll play six games in 22 days. Up until now, at least, Brian Schmetzer has not made many changes, with seven players starting all four previous matches and five them playing all 360-plus minutes. During the most recent postgame press-conference, Schmetzer acknowledged he’ll likely need to use some rotation. But this is still a match the Sounders need to win if they want to finish atop the Western Conference. Morris and João Paulo are probably the two players most likely to come off the bench, but Schmetzer would be served well by making more liberal use of his subs than he has recently.
Despite dropping to third in the Western Conference after the loss to the Rapids, the Sounders can still grab the top seed if they win out and the Portland Timbers drop points in either of their final two games. Of course, there was a similar scenario surrounding the Supporters’ Shield going into the Rapids game and we know how that turned out. Almost as important as their seeding is just the idea of finishing the regular-season on a high note. Historically, that’s been the Sounders’ calling card.
Get Raul into Golden Boot race
It obviously doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, but Raúl Ruidíaz is still within striking distance of the Golden Boot. In order to become the first Sounders player to win the award, Ruidíaz will need to outscore Diego Rossi by at least three goals and Gyasi Zardes by one in the remaining games. If multiple players finish with the same number of goals, the tiebreaker is assists. Getting Ruidíaz on a nice scoring run would also bode well for his playoff form, where he already is the all-time MLS leader with 1.17 goals per game.