BY JOSE M. ROMERO
How important was the Seattle Sounders' 4-0 domination of the Columbus Crew this past Saturday? For more reasons than one, none in any particular order of importance.
-Blaise N'kufo, the reigning MLS Player of the Week, scored not just his first but second and third goals as a Sounder. At long last, and that will only help his acclimation to the league's style of play.
-The Sounders have to pick up as many points as possible to get into the playoffs. Perhaps none were expected from Ohio, instead the Sounders picked up three against the top team in the Eastern Conference. Though other playoff contenders have games in hand, all five of Seattle's last MLS regular-season opponents have fewer standings points.
-Another road win. The Sounders have four in all this season, which helps offset their struggles at home early in the year. Seattle has since flipped that around, unbeaten at home in its past five MLS games with two league matches left at home.
-Coach Sigi Schmid has now beaten his former team twice at Crew Stadium. His two trips to Columbus as Sounders coach have been walks down memory lane, and walks off the pitch in sweet victory. Because if you know Schmid, you know how important it is for him to beat the Crew.
-Should the Sounders get the eighth and final playoff spot, it would make them the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. Which means a potential first-round matchup with Columbus, a place where the Sounders have proven they can win. Plus the Sounders will get to scout the Crew one more time, as they have the U.S. Open Cup final at home remaining against the Crew.
-Seattle handed the Crew its worst home loss in five years. Think that doesn't give the Sounders some kind of mental edge?
The Sounders have a CONCACAF Champions League match at Monterrey (MX) Wednesday, a game they don't have to take seriously. They'll go into their MLS road game at Chicago tired from so much travel this month (almost 18,000 miles when the month ends), but will conceivably have a rested regular lineup. After that, it's back to the Emerald City for almost two weeks.
Taking into account all of the above – plus the fact that the Sounders are the hottest team in MLS with 21 points in its last 10 games and finally converted a penalty kick (Nathan Sturgis vs. Columbus) after four previously unsuccessful attempts — has the Sounders poised to steal the early autumn spotlight from their NFL counterparts in the city, the Seahawks.
I love it! It’s their best combo. The one I don’t like is the all-green: green tops, green shorts, green socks. Yikes.
Could be a turning point, hopefully it is because they are a pretty solid team on paper. I do remember, though, a 2-0 thumping put on the Galaxy by the Revs a couple months back…..no turning point there though for New England (granted a poorer team overall than Seattle). Good luck to Gang Green.
Able to trounce Columbus, finishing regular season close to .500, in the 8 spot, and playing Columbus in the first round of the playoffs.
Where have I heard this before ?
LET HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF !!!
Those poor saps in Portland just don’t have anything better to do than to read and comment about the Sounders any chance they get.
Wow, that has nothing to do with anything.
I love how we’ve seen this headline about 3 different times this season
A team with purer green will enter MLS 2011.
Looking at the schedule it appears as if KC is about the only team that could catch them unless they completely tanked and lost their last 5 games.
Every game is key for Seattle at this point none more so than the match against KC. If they can take a point in that match then I think they have the playoffs sewn up.
gosh that kit is putrid
What do the Seahawks have to do with anything? Also, the Sounders have two league games left at home, not three. They play Toronto on Oct 2nd and Chivas on Oct 15th.