Sounders host L.A.; seeds up for grabs
Supporters Shield and the Western Conference title aren’t available to the Seattle Sounders as they close their fifth MLS regular season Sunday against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
However, for the fifth consecutive season, the Sounders will finish atop the league in home attendance; and for the fifth time they will set a league record in the process.
More than 66,000 tickets already have been distributed for the match, and that assures Seattle of topping its league- record average of 43,144 per home game, set last season. “Our fans have been amazing,” general manager Adrian Hanauer said. “It’s been a little bit of a roller-coaster season, but our fans have stuck behind us.”
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid hopes his club can feed off of the large crowd on its way to a win.
“Our home fans always give us a boost,” Schmid said. “It’s been obviously this last set of games – these last four games – haven’t been very good for us. We want to get back onto a positive role and show everybody the type of soccer that we’re capable of playing, and we need a bounce or two to go in our direction. Getting the first goal would be nice: We haven’t had that for a while.”
Those full three points would assure the Sounders of third place in the West and direct entry into the conference semifinals. With a draw or loss, Seattle would finish fourth or fifth in the West and would begin its postseason with a midweek knockout match for the right to face No. 1 seed Portland in the semifinals.
Los Angeles has similar incentives, as a loss to Seattle would send the Galaxy into the knockout match.
Regardless of seeding, the Sounders would like to use the final game of the regular season to snuff their ongoing four-game losing streak and six-game winless streak.