Sounders Vs. Real Salt Lake, MLS Cup Playoffs: Furious Rally Falls Short

There was no doubt that the mountain the Seattle Sounders were trying to climb was steep. They managed to scale exactly two-thirds of it. The Sounders won Wednesday's second leg of the Western Conference semifinal 2-0, but it wasn't enough to overcome their 3-0 deficit they had dug in the first leg. As a result, their season is over, at the exact same point in the season it has ended each of the first two years.

This time, it at least feels different. For one, the season ended with the Sounders' first-ever MLC Cup playoff victory. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, this game goes in the books as a win. 

Despite coming up short, there were undeniable positives to come out of this game. For the first time, they showed they were capable of stepping up to the challenge that is the MLS playoffs. They were facing a very good RSL team and were clearly the superior side, outshooting their opponents 26-4 and out-possessing them 61-39. It was as thoroughly a dominating performance as we've seen from the Sounders all year, possibly in their entire history.

Among the individual positives were the play of guys like Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle, both of whom were probably playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Fucito started the first leg on the bench and gave RSL fits every minute he was on the field. His biggest moment was drawing the penalty that ultimately led to Osvaldo Alonso's goal that really got the momentum swinging the Sounders' way.

Neagle was coming off a nightmare performance in the first leg in which he looked very much overwhelmed by his first playoff appearance. He started this game on the bench, but was called upon in the 14th minute when Alvaro Fernandez was taken out with an injury. It took Neagle a little while to adjust to game, but once he found his groove he was among the Sounders' most effective players. It culminated with a 61st minute goal, taking a nice feed from Fredy Montero and putting it past RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

It still wasn't enough. The Sounders were looking to do nothing less than make history, and while it was a valiant effort, it will likely be largely forgotten. The Sounders have a right to feel satisfied with the season, but it doesn't make it any less disappointing.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Seattle

You must be a member of SB Nation Seattle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Seattle. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Seattle

You must be a member of SB Nation Seattle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Seattle. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.