Uninspired Sounders Escape Vancouver With A Point, Clinch A Playoff Berth

The Seattle Sounders continued a rather drab run of games to close out the month of September, escaping BC Place with a point after watching a last-second effort from Camillo Sanvezzo miss the post by inches with the game's final kick. Seattle was the better side in the early stages, but the game was largely even at the break and the second half was dominated by the Whitecaps. This was a typical rivalry game; big on physical play and jawing, lacking in chances and flowing attacking moves. Even when one side was on top of the other in terms of the run of play, dangerous looks were few and far between.

Neither side will likely be happy with a point; though it does give the Sounders a place in the playoffs, it won't move them up the table and could very well put them in a hole if the LA Galaxy can beat the Colorado Rapids on Sunday night. Vancouver could have put some real daylight between themselves and FC Dallas for the final playoff spot with a win, but instead they will remain well within striking distance. The Whitecaps are also eliminated from Cascadia Cup contention, while the Sounders will need a win against the Portland Timbers next week as well as a a result for the Whitecaps in order to hang on to the trophy and local bragging rights.

Perhaps most disappointing of all for Seattle, the team appears to be cooling off with the playoffs just around the corner and a very tough run of games to close out the season. The Sounders took just 6 of a possible 15 points in September, and what was once a fairly comfortable lead over the Galaxy and Real Salt Lake has now vanished. Seattle will get a crack at both teams in October, but they'll significantly improved play if they hope to turn those games into a positive rather than a negative. Seattle's other remaining games are against the Timbers and FC Dallas, and though the Sounders will be favored in each they both look to be far from a sure thing given the way the team has been playing as of late. If this is just a bump on the road, it's far from the worst thing. But if this slump continues to stretch into October, the road to the MLS Cup could be much bumpier than it once would have seemed.

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