On Wednesday afternoon, Sounders FC still has a chance to finish first in the Western Conference if Seattle tops the LA Galaxy in the regular season finale on Sunday and certain results go the right way.
The first relevant match comes Wednesday night when Real Salt Lake hosts Chivas USA in the season finale for RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium. Salt Lake is currently second in the West at 15-10-8, just two points ahead of Seattle at 15-12-6. Also of importance to Seattle is the finale for the Portland Timbers (13-5-15) on Saturday on the road against Chivas USA and the Colorado Rapids’ (14-10-9) match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday.
While the team will be aware of what happens in other matches around the league in the final week of the regular season, the focus is narrowed in on the match at CenturyLink Field as Seattle looks to snap a four-match losing skid and finish the season with a victory against the Galaxy.
“At this point, it’s all about us. We just have to worry about ourselves and let them do what they do,” midfielder Brad Evans said. “If a result goes our way and we happen to pull out a victory, we’ll see what happens. But at the end of the day we have to focus day-by-day here and not panic, stay level headed and really focus on Sunday.”
A win against the Galaxy would spring the Sounders into a top three finish in the West regardless of other results, avoiding a midweek match in the Knockout Round. That, too, would be important for Seattle as the club works to get as close to full strength as possible entering the postseason.
“We want to avoid the play-in game,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “Especially with us having some banged-up bodies because that just means an additional game, which you don’t want to play.”
If Chivas is able to beat Portland and earn a win or draw against Real Salt Lake, that would leave the opportunity for Seattle to finish on top of the Western Conference with a win over the Galaxy.
“If everything goes really favorably in our direction, then you have to look at things a little bit differently,” Schmid said. “A lot of things are open.”
Remaining Schedule – Western Conference
Wednesday, Oct. 23
Chivas USA @ Real Salt Lake; 6 pm PT; MLS Live
Saturday, Oct. 26
FC Dallas @ San Jose Earthquakes; 2:30 pm PT; NBC Sports Network
Portland Timbers @ Chivas USA; 7:30 pm PT; MLS Live, ROOT Sports
Sunday, Oct. 27
Colorado Rapids @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC; 5 pm PT; MLS Live
LA Galaxy @ Seattle Sounders FC; 6 pm PT; ESPN