After their 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy on Sunday, the Seattle Sounders find themselves as the third seed in the MLS Western Conference as the regular season comes to a close.
The Sounders have been in a fight for playoff positioning throughout the latter part of the regular season and lost out on being the No. 2 seed in the West by just one point. At 15-8-11, the Sounders were unable to overtake Real Salt Lake at 17-11-6 for the No. 2 spot behind the top-seeded San Jose Earthquakes. The Earthquakes are also the top seed overall in the MLS Playoffs and winners of the Supporters Shield.
The Sounders did fend off the LA Galaxy, who finished two points behind the Sounders for the fourth seed, and the Vancouver Whitecaps were the last team into the playoffs with 43 points.
Mike Magee's 83rd minute goal was really dumb. The opening the Sounders left Magee to take the shot was dumb. Eddie Johnson's injury on the half-hour was dumb; Jeff Parke's injury on the hour was also dumb. Seattle's inability to hit the target was dumb. Everything about this game was dumb.
There's no better way to put things, and no greater lesson to be learned. This was a dumb game, and hopefully the dumb things that were out of the Sounders control don't come back to haunt them. If they do, well, that would be dumb.There's a whole lot of dumb to go around, and most of it could have been avoided had the Sounders managed to close down Magee and keep a clean sheet. But not all of it, and perhaps not the most important parts of it.
Put simply, the volume of dumb overwhelmed the seawalls of not-dumb. And sincere congratulations to the LA Galaxy for pushing the storm surge and Real Salt Lake for floating serenely while a swell of dumb ebbed serenely offshore. Because this entire situation could have been fairly easily sidestepped, and the Sounders chose the most difficult path possible.
With the Western Conference semifinal matchup against Real Salt Lake set, it's tempting to consider this evening's game against the LA Galaxy somewhat meaningless. But when considering what a win could do in terms of improving Seattle's CONCACAF Champions League qualification chances and their odds of hosting the MLS Cup, the importance of these final three points becomes much clearer.