It was a monumental night for the Sounders on Wednesday as the team solidified a spot in the 2023 MLS playoffs with a 2-1 win over LA Galaxy.
“It's a big win,” said forward Jordan Morris. “At certain points it wasn't our best game, but to grind out like that at this point in the season and clinch playoffs is big.”
As the final whistle approached, the match seemed destined to end in a 1-1 draw. But the Rave Green’s tenacious mindset pushed them to victory, with Cristian Roldan scoring a dramatic game-winning goal in the sixth minute of second half stoppage time.
“The team doesn't quit, the team doesn't give up,” added Morris. “And I’m super happy for Cristian to get the goal. Obviously with some of the struggles he's been through this year, super happy for him to fight back and get his first goal back.”
Even without a victory, the Sounders would have clinched a spot in the 2023 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs due to results from other MLS matches. But the Seattle squad wanted to do it on their own terms.
“That's a team win,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “I'm happy for the group that we were able to put ourselves in the playoffs, not having us just kind of back our way in, because I think that group deserves every accolade.”
The Sounders recognize the luxury of knowing they’ve already made the playoffs with two regular season matches left to play, but they remain determined to close out the last couple games with six points as they look ahead to capturing home field advantage in the first round of the postseason.
“We want to continue to climb the standings or stay towards the top of the standings to be able to host playoff games,” said Morris. “We know from experience, hosting playoff games is massive.”
Tonight’s victory brings the Sounders’ unbeaten streak to seven as the team heads into their final home match of the regular season this Saturday against Cascadia rivals the Vancouver Whitecaps 7:30 p.m. PT; Watch on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV | TICKETS).
And with the team effort that was displayed tonight and solid individual performances from players like Cristian Roldan, the Sounders hope to carry that momentum into Saturday.
“This was a critical game and it sets us up for a critical match against Vancouver, because they're on a good run of form,” said Schmetzer. “We'll see how our last game of the year at home plays out, but I’ll tell you this much, the guys are going to be ready.”