Sounders second seed sider cover Frei

There were mixed emotions following the Seattle Sounders’ 1-1 draw at the Vancouver Whitecaps on Decision Day.

On one hand, the Sounders picked up a point on the road against one of the most in-form teams in the league, securing a spot in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League and their third consecutive Cascadia Cup title. On the other hand, they came close to winning the match and had to settle for a draw, which saw the Colorado Rapids leapfrog Seattle for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

“Overall, I think we’re disappointed because we were in such a good position to get first,” said midfielder Cristian Roldan. “So, initially frustrated after a couple of bad results.”

Throughout the season, the Sounders regularly overcame countless difficult circumstances to reach a Leagues Cup final and finish as one of the top three teams in the league. For a club with such a rich culture of winning and excellence, though, the players and staff aren’t satisfied with the outcome of Sunday’s match.

“The standard that we set at this club is a big one, it’s a high bar,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “So, guys were ticked off in the locker room that we drew, that we couldn’t find a second goal.”

While the club certainly isn’t content with finishing second in the West, the added context of all the hardship this team has faced on the pitch this season certainly makes their myriad accomplishments feel more rewarding.

The Sounders managed to secure 60 points for just third time in club history – and did so largely without the services of two 2020 MLS Best XI players in Jordan Morris and Nicolás Lodeiro. Injuries and international call-ups throughout the season saw key players missing for important stretches, only for young players and new contributors emerge.

All things considered, it was a successful season. But the Sounders aren’t done yet.

“The team has overcome a ton of adversity,” added Schmetzer. “I’ll keep telling you guys, MLS is a hard league… It wasn’t lost on me, it’s not lost on those players, that we have put ourselves in a relatively good position to make a run deep in the playoffs.”

With the upcoming international window, it will be a few weeks before the postseason begins. According to Fredy Montero, the depth of the squad – and the possibility of key players returning from injury – will make for a lively and competitive environment heading into Round One.

“I believe the next two weeks are going to be super competitive,” said Montero. “Everybody would like to be in that game, so the level of training is going to be high in order to be 200 percent prepared for what is coming.

The Sounders will face Real Salt Lake in Round One of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. PT. You can purchase your tickets HERE.

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