Sounders in the Playoffs.

Sarah Bohl, Staff Writer

This Thursday the Seattle Sounders will play in the second leg of the Western Conference Finals. For the right to move on to the Major League Soccer (MLS) championship.  The Seattle Sounders are the defending MLS champions and will be looking to repeat.  They will face off with Houston Dynamo at home on Thursday and given that they won the first leg 2-0 the odds are good that they will have the opportunity to play in the final again this year.

For those not all that into soccer, the playoffs in the MLS are a bit unique in how they are scored.  The teams play a two game series with one game at home and one game away.  The winner is then decided based on the aggregate score of the two matches.  If there is a tie, the team that scored more away goals gets the advantage.  If it is still tied then they play overtime and if necessary go to penalty kicks to determine a winner.  Penalty kicks are never a good way to determine a winner though.

The Sounders got the series off to a great start during the first leg in Houston with a 2-0 win. They kept Houston on their heels most of the game since they had a player red carded and had to play with only 10 men on the field while the Sounders still had all 11.  The Sounders probably should have been able to score another goal or two, with several chances just barely being missed.  However, with the 2-0 lead going into Thursday’s match they are in good position.  Not only do the Sounders have the lead, but they will be playing at home with all their fans there to cheer them on and it is rumored that two of their star players that were out with injuries last game will return to play on Thursday.  Both Jordan Morris and Stephan Frei are big contributors to the Sounders so getting them back on the pitch should definitely help the Sounders chances.

Just by chance I was at the Sounders practice last Saturday as I had a game of my own at Starfire.  I had a chance to meet many of the players and in particular had a chance to catch up with both those star players mentioned above.  They were gracious in taking a photo with me and when I asked Jordan if he would be playing in the next game he said he believes he will, so there you have it straight from the man himself.  

With a win or draw the Sounders will go on to play the winner of the Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew series.  The first leg of that matchup resulted in a 0-0 draw so that one is still anyone’s to win.  The game will be in Toronto and if Toronto manages to secure the win at home that could set up a rematch of last year’s Seattle vs Toronto championship final.  Let’s hope the final result is also the same!


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