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Five things we want to see from Sounders on Decision Day

Sounders can lock up the top spot in West with a win.

SOCCER: OCT 09 MLS - Vancouver Whitecaps at Seattle Sounders Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Seattle Sounders head into Decision Day with quite a bit on the line. A win will clinch the top spot while anything less will leave them in danger as slipping all the way to third. The Cascadia Cup is also still up for grabs, although they can still claim that with a loss as bad as 3-0. Let’s not think too much about that possibility, though, and focus on what we do want to see:

Get that first goal

It’s hardly some sort of tactical secret that scoring the first goal is supremely helpful in soccer. That’s particularly true for the Sounders, who are 15-0-4 when they score first and just 2-8-3 when allowing the first goal this year. In each of the five games during this winless run, the Sounders have surrendered the first goal, including four of them in the first 25 minutes after giving up just two goals that early in their first 28 games. Just getting the first goal would be a massive step toward correcting their form. - Jeremiah

Stop the Whitecaps’ explosive offense

It’s been a long time since Vancouver has had a really good attack, but that’s where they’re at now. Ryan Gauld and Brian White are an incredibly exciting duo that has been at the center of the Whitecaps' recent run of form. White is your classic No. 9 who has really come into his own this season after being traded from the New York Red Bulls. Gauld arrived in the summer from Portuguese side Farense as a Designated Player, and has certainly been playing like one since then. He’s tireless and everywhere. Seattle needs to deny Gauld the ball and watch where White is at all times. - Mark

A full 90 for Lodeiro

Nicolas Lodeiro is still working his way back from the injury that’s kept him on the sidelines for most of this season. He was able to start and get about 75 minutes of playtime against the Galaxy. The Sounders are obviously a much better team with Lodeiro on the field, and heading into the playoffs it would be great to see him get a full match. Almost as much as his playing time is getting him on the ball. He’s been averaging 12 fewer passes per 90 minutes than in any of his previous Sounders season, it would be good to see him closer to that number. - Mark

45’ for Morris

It was very, very cool to see Jordan Morris return to the field on Monday night after his ACL injury. He looks as explosive as before and the addition of him to this squad makes the Sounders much better. It’s probably too much to ask for him to start at this point, but seeing Morris get a full half off the bench would do wonders for his confidence. Morris as a super sub heading into the playoffs is terrifying....for other teams. -Mark

Good vibes

Look, from a purely practical perspective it would be entirely fine to finish second and in some ways might even be preferable as it would allow the Sounders to avoid playing on Thanksgiving and delay a potential meeting with the Portland Timbers. A tie would not only secure the Cascadia Cup, but it would also be good enough to finish no worse than second as long as both Sporting KC and the Rapids don’t win. But after five straight without a win, the Sounders just need to remember what it’s like to claim three points. The vibes have been so good with this team all year that it would be a shame to go into the playoffs on anything less than that winning high and the top spot in the conference. - Jeremiah

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