Decision Day is a tradition like no other in MLS and the Seattle Sounders have a lot on the line on Sunday. Here’s some of the things we’d like to see as the Sounders take on the San Jose Earthquakes
Our best XI
It’s been a long time since the Sounders were at full strength. There’s no secret formula to Seattle’s dip in form over the last month, too many guys have been hurt and missing because of international duty. The match against San Jose will be the first time Brian Schmetzer can have multiple healthy people at every position. Brad Smith and Joevin Jones are back from injury and could start. I’d like to see both of them start. -Mark
Return to form
The Sounders have historically finished their regular seasons on strong notes. The Sounders are riding a six-game winning streak and are 8-2-1 all-time in their regular-season finales. But that game also usually includes a strong run of form immediately before. This year, however, the Sounders are just 1-2-3 over their previous six games. They gone 9-3-3, had a +20 goal-difference and looked likely to win the Supporters’ Shield. If the Sounders can rediscover that kind of form, they’re MLS Cup favorites. - Jeremiah
More of this
The Sounders were not good for most of the match against the Galaxy on Wednesday night. But, Jordan Morris and Raul Ruidiaz combined for an incredible stoppage time equalizer. The Sounders are undefeated this season when Ruidiaz scores, so let’s make sure this happens on Sunday. -Mark
Get those individual awards
As successful as the Sounders have been, they’ve never had a player lead the league in either goals or assists. Ruidíaz and Nicolás Lodeiro have a chance to change that. Ruidíaz’s chances at winning the Golden Boot are admittedly slim — he’d need to score a hat trick and for Diego Rossi to go scoreless. Lodeiro is a bit closer on the assist leaderboard. He currently trails Darwin Quintero and Alejandro Pozuelo by one assist. Maybe they could just connect on three goals and call it a day. Deal? Deal. - Jeremiah
Some help from our friends
I am not very good at math, which makes this whole points per game thing a nightmare. The Sounders have squandered their chance at controlling their destiny for the top spot in the Western Conference, so they’ll need some help from other games on Sunday. The two teams we need to keep an eye on are Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers. SKC plays against Real Salt Lake, who have nothing to play for....or do they? We love our friends in Salt Lake City and they can do us a favor on Sunday.
Portland plays against LAFC in LA. Ideally, this game ends in a draw with a bunch of red cards for both teams. A draw for Portland and a loss for SKC would but the Timbers on the other side of the bracket, delaying a possible matchup with Seattle until the Western Conference Finals.
Now, of course, all of this is pointless if Seattle doesn’t take care of business against the Earthquakes. - Mark