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Sounders could clinch playoff berth Sunday

TUKWILA, Wash. – For Sigi Schmid, fatherly advice often involves soccer.

That was the case this week when his son Kyle, an assistant coach for the UC Riverside men’s soccer team, appealed for help over text message:

“I can’t believe we lost a game. … It’s still eating at me. … How do you deal with this?”

Dad could relate to the feeling, as his Sounders FC started the season with a franchise-worst 0-3-2 record in March, and the advice to Kyle was consistent with Seattle’s approach to turning around its season.

“My response to him was, ‘You have to believe in what you’re doing, you have to be focused on the next task, and sometimes a primal scream in a room is a good thing,’ ” said Schmid, whose team hosts the New York Red Bulls in a top-of-the-table clash tonight at 6.

Seattle could actually be the league’s first team to clinch a playoff berth if results go as needed; the Sounders have to beat the Red Bulls and get help with a Columbus Crew win today against FC Dallas to qualify.

The Red Bulls come into the weekend with 51 points, most in the league and one more than the Sounders.

Today’s game won’t feature some of the Red Bulls’elite players. New York didn’t travel with star forward Thierry Henry or defender Jamison Olave, a two-time MLS All-Star, due to injury concerns involving the artificial turf at CenturyLink Field.