Clinched playoff berth
Dan Poss

Seattle Sounders defeat FC Dallas 4-0, clinch ninth consecutive Audi MLS Cup Playoff berth

SEATTLE – Víctor Rodríguez and Lamar Neagle had a goal apiece, Will Bruin added a second-half brace and the Seattle Sounders trounced Western Conference rival FC Dallas 4-0 at CenturyLink Field on Sunday, punching their ticket to the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs in the process.

Rodríguez opened the scoring in the 31st minute after Clint Dempsey threaded him through with a perfect feed on a counterattack. The Spaniard made no mistake with the finish, lofting his shot past FCD goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez and into the net to give Seattle the 1-0 lead that they would take into halftime.

Bruin would add dual insurance goals in the second half, first with a 64th minute rebound finish that he followed up with the dagger just three minutes later, with Neagle adding a tally in second-half stoppage time to seal the 4-0 scoreline.

THREE TAKEAWAYS

PLAYOFF BOUND

Needing all three points to ensure a ninth straight trip to the postseason since their inaugural MLS expansion season of 2009, the Sounders got that result in emphatic fashion on Sunday, starting with Rodriguez’s opener at the half-hour mark. There is still plenty to be determined seeding-wise in the Western Conference heading into Seattle’s regular-season finale at CenturyLink Field against the Colorado Rapids next weekend, but Sounders fans can at least rest a little easier knowing that a chance for an MLS Cup title defense is officially in the cards.

V-ROD KEEPS ROLLING

Returning to the lineup after missing Seattle’s 2-0 defeat to the Philadelphia Union earlier this month after going back to Spain for the birth of his daughter, Rodríguez picked up right where he left off on Sunday with the crucial opener that set the Sounders on their way. Rodríguez has proven to be a crucial addition since he signed with Seattle in August and the Sounders will continue to lean on the 28-year-old attacker as they prepare for the playoffs.

SVENSSON EXITS

The Sounders were already playing without injured star midfielder Osvaldo Alonso for the match and were dealt another blow in the 23rd minute after his replacement, Gustav Svensson, exited the contest with what the club deemed a “left hamstring issue.” Svensson has been one of Seattle’s most consistent and durable players throughout the 2017 season, so getting him fully healthy becomes a top priority for the Rave Green before their 2017 playoff run gets underway.

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