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Sounders seek redemption in playoffs after missing out last year

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The 2022 season was an unorthodox time for the Seattle Sounders.

Last season included incredible highs, like becoming the first MLS club to win the Concacaf Champions League. But it was also marked by an unprecedented low point when the club missed the postseason for the first time in its MLS history.

Now, with the Sounders finishing second in the Western Conference in the 2023 season, the team is looking at the upcoming playoffs as a chance at redemption — a chance to prove that they are back where they belong.

“We set high expectations for ourselves at this club,” said midfielder Josh Atencio. “Right now, we’re going to take it one leg at a time but the expectation is [to win] MLS Cup.”

With most of the 2022 roster included in this year’s competition, and several key players having been part of the 2016 and 2019 MLS Cup titles, the team hopes to utilize their championship experience to make a deep run in the postseason.

“The core of this group is the team that won Champions League, so we were there when we missed the playoffs,” said defender Alex Roldan. “And now we're here together trying to erase that memory.”

The adversity of this year’s regular season is also something that is bringing motivation to the team as they look ahead to the first leg of their Round One match against FC Dallas (6:00 p.m. PT; Watch FREE on Apple TV, FS1, iHeart Radio, Sirius XM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) on Oct. 30.

“I think with all the challenges we had this season, there was a moment where people believed that we weren't going to make the playoffs this year,” said Roldan.”So, finishing out second and putting ourselves in a good position to make a run is huge.”

The Rave Green climbed out of a rut after suffering a string of difficult results in the middle of the season and are now jumping into playoffs on a nine-game unbeaten streak. 

Undergoing hardships in a league full of talented teams is inevitable, but to come out of the grueling circumstances even stronger will propel the Sounders to great heights in the upcoming postseason matches. 

Atencio described the team’s mindset heading into playoffs with confidence. 

“All the guys in the locker room are ready to take on whatever challenges we need to, to reach [MLS Cup].”

The Sounders squad knows what it takes to rally around each other and lift trophies. With the opening match of the postseason just around the corner, the team is unified in its mission to add a third star above the crest, Together As One.

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