Here we are, the eve of the MLS Cup for 2017. This year has been full of ups and downs. Through it all, the Seattle Sounders have become stronger than they were last year. It hasn’t been without injury and issues, but the team has risen above and made it to the promised land.
Last year was so special because it was our first. I think this year can be even more special because we have the chance to repeat as the MLS champions. Through the playoffs, the Sounders have defeated both the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Houston Dynamo, both in convincing fashion.
Again, the Sounders find themselves facing Toronto FC at BMO Field on what proves to be a very cold day. Hundreds of supporters are making their way to Toronto. There is a banner going that has the names of people who could not make this trip. We are a family. We will be in the stadium, in pubs, in bars, and in our homes, all over the world cheering our boys to victory. This is our cup, and we will defend it.
This game will not be like last year. Both teams have improved. Both are stronger, faster but just as hungry as they were last year. TFC still has the bitter taste of last year’s loss, during penalty kicks, in their mouths. Seattle wants to cement our dynasty. Seattle has added a number of players who have made a huge difference in the team’s play.
Both teams have injuries issues, with the Sounders being slightly worse. At this time, Jozy Altidore is questionable with an ankle injury suffered late in the second leg of the Columbus Crew game. Seattle will be missing Brad Evans and Ozzie Alonso.
Ozzie being out of the game hurts. He is our captain and the heart. Seattle will have Roman Torres back from suspension. Jordan Morris is also at 100% and should feature. No one is suspended for this game, and no one is on international duty.
Tonight is the night. The Seattle Sounders are playing for a spot in the MLS Cup finals to face Toronto FC. Currently, the Sounders are up 2 goals to 0. This is huge for us.
Tonight’s game is not a cake walk though. Due to yellow card acclamation, the Sounders will be missing Roman Torres. Hopefully, this will not throw off the backline too much. Most likely Tony Alfaro will replace him tonight, but it is very hard to replace Torres.
While we won’t have Torres, there is a good chance we will have Stefan Frei (hamstring), Osvaldo Alonso (quad strain) and Jordan Morris (hamstring) all back from injury. Mostly likely Frei will start but Alonso and Morris will come off the bench. Although after the practice yesterday, Brian Schmetzer said that Morris could start.
Houston Dynamo, on the other hand, has some problems. Both Jalil Anibaba (red card) and striker Alberth Elis (yellow card accumulation) will be suspended for this game. With Elis’s suspension, Houston will have to look for goals from Mauro Manotas and Erick Torres.
The Sounders have only lost once at home this regular season. The projected crowd tonight could be close to or over 50k. Tonight is going to be loud and amazing. Even with a 2 goal lead, I think most, if not all, the Sounders fans are very nervous for tonight.
Jingle bells, Jingle bells.
Jingle all the way.
Oh what fun it is to see,
Seattle win away!
Is it a little early for Christmas music? Maybe. Is this song totally appropriate? Yes.
The Seattle Sounders took a 2-0 win in Houston in the first leg of the Western Conference Final. It was a very chippy game with many cards and fouls, but Seattle ended up on top.
The first goal came in the 11th minute when Gustav Svensson headed home a Nicolas Lodeiro corner kick. That was the 2nd goal of the season for the Swedish international.
In the 27th minute the game went downhill for Houston. Defender Jalil Anibaba took Joevin Jones down in the box resulting in a DOGSO (Denial of an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity) red card and penalty kick. Lodeiro went up to take the kick, but goalkeeper Joe Willis guessed correctly and saved it.
However, in the 43rd minute Will Bruin doubled the lead and scored a header goal (assisted by Joevin Jones).
Fun facts about this match: Will Bruin scored against his former team of 6 years. His 2nd time this year. Clint Dempsey grew up about 2 hours north of Houston, so a lot of his family and friends were at this game. Roman Torres will miss the next match because of yellow card accumulation.
We saw two former Sounders on the field with Dylan Remick and Jalil Anibaba playing.
Prior to this match, the Sounders were 0-4-4 in Houston, making this their first win in Houston.
The Sounders are heading into the second leg of the Western Conference Final with a 2-0 lead. The next game will be in Seattle on November 30th, the winner on aggregate after the 2nd leg will advance to the MLS Cup Final on December 9th.
Tonight is the first leg of the Western Conference finals. Of course, it has been what seems like a million years since the last playoff game against Vancouver Whitecaps. This has been a welcome rest and a terrible one all at the same time. It has given us time for our injured players to heal up. Looks like Osvaldo Alonso and Jordan Morris might be able to make it back for part of the series. Of course, this has given time for Houston’s players to heal up too. The downside is that we have lost all the momentum we had coming off the Vancouver series.
During the regular season, Houston and Seattle split the series. Sounders lost in Houston and won at home. The game in Houston saw the return of Clint Dempsey. He scored in a 2-1 road loss that opened the Sounders title defense. The Sounders still have not won a game in BBVA Compass Stadium. The game in Seattle was a different story. Will Bruin scored the only goal in a 1 – 0 win in June.
Houston is down a goalkeeper due to being suspended for off the field issues. Also, three of their players were part of the Honduras National Team that made the trip to Australia for a World Cup playoff game. Sounders just had Gustav Svensson go off for national team duty, traveling to Italy for a World Cup playoff game.
This promises to be a good game. Houston and Seattle match up well in most positions on the field. The Sounders will need to play up-tempo and keep the ball moving. Sounders have players that are hungry to score. Bruin wants very much to score on his old team. Look for him and Dempsey to cause Houston a lot of trouble.
The game will kick off at 6:30 pacific time (most likely later due to national broadcast) at BBVA Compass Stadium. The game will be broadcast on FS1 and Fox Deportes. Ref for tonight is Chris Penso.
After a record breaking 5-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, the Vancouver Whitecaps faced the second seeded Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference semi-finals. First leg was played at home and resulted in a 0-0 draw. The game was frustrating and intense.
When the lineup was announced, you could tell we were playing defensively since away goals are weighted more than home goals in aggregate scoring. The Whitecaps had some really great chances. I sit near the away team’s support section and boy were they annoying =). Seattle also had their fair amount of chances including an almost own goal from our very own Kendall Waston.
The game was physical right away and the ref let them play. There was a lot of players “down”. Just to give you an idea, with a 0-0 draw the second half had at least 6 mins of extra time. 6 MINUTES. Most of this time came from a little kerfuffle in the 83rd minute, involving most, if not all, of both sides. It was a heated game with added frustration of playoffs. The ref wasn’t consistent, Seattle is defending the Cup, and these two teams have been rivals for a while now. Emotions were being felt.
Near the end of the game, we made some offensive changes bringing in Yordy Reyna and Nico Mezquida. Expect to see a more offensive lineup for Thursday, the 2nd game. Though, word on the street is that Reyna and Techera are still “touch and go’ according to the Whitecaps website. Seattle will also see the return of Clint Dempsey coming off a red card suspension.
Whitecaps lost 3-0 on their last visit to their rivals. Seattle is a hometown team who set a “franchise record this year for the fewest home losses in a season” according to the Sounder’s website.
One away goal from the Whitecaps could curtail the Sounders and pressure them to produce 2 goals. There are many scenarios that could play out in the second game, but one thing is certain, there will be only one team moving on. We need to, more now than ever, to #Riseupraincity
A collaboration by official reporters of MLSFemale @MLSFemale
With Major League Soccer, there is no greater prize than the MLS Cup. Twelve teams, 6 from each conference, are vying for the chance to lift the ultimate prize of the league’s 22nd season. Here’s a quick rundown from our MLSFemale squad:
Toronto FC: AND NOW YOU’RE GUNNA BELIEVE US, we’ve gone and won the league! Suffice it to say the city of Toronto is over the moon with our accomplishments this season and we are looking forward to what we hope is a great playoff run. Michael Bradley succinctly put our season in summation by saying “…we went after every game from 1 to 34 like it was the only thing that mattered.” (source)
I think they can be proud that they never really wavered on that goal and it paid off. As a member of the Kings in the North, one of the official protectors of the Supporters’ Shield during it’s stay in Toronto, I look forward to spending some time up close and personal with it.
Our playoff future looks bright; one is left hoping that we take that same winning mentality into the playoffs and consider every opponent and every game with care. Finishing off the regular season at Atlanta was also a good test for us to end on. Fresh to the league, they were the one team I felt we hadn’t had a proper chance to sound out back in April. Having seen their house and how they feel about our players (your hate makes them strong, our love makes them unstoppable), I now feel confident that Toronto FC has the arsenal to make a successful playoff run. And as Giovinco has shown, this team is ready for whatever is thrown at them. So bring on our second (okay fine, third) go at it, we’re here to win it all!
*NYCFC: Not gonna lie: this team gets measurably better every year. With head coach Patrick Vieira, the Pigeons have made it to their 1st MLS post season in style, with a bye for the knockout round. Legend David Villa and newcomer Jack Harrison, as well as the rest of the squad, are going to face their first opponents well rested and ready for a run. Just how far can the boys in blue go their first time out?
Chicago Fire: Nine months ago Fire fans were excited for the club’s new signings– with Dax McCarty, Juninho, Niko, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, certainly the Men in Red wouldn’t finish last place again – would they?
By early June, fans knew that not only were the Chicago Fire going to dig themselves out from the bottom of the table, but the likelihood that they would be playoff contenders looked promising.
David Accam, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Juninho, amongst others have been battling injuries, just returned from injury, or will return from injury for the playoffs. Is the squad recovering at the appropriate time? With key players on the bench over the last couple of months, other players gained experience – this will certainly help strengthen roster options when Veljko Paunovic looks to his bench for substitution options.
Who will get the nod for the goalkeeper position? Matt Lampson, who has been with the team since February of 2016 and a total of 34 games played for the Fire? Or will Richard Sanchez start in net after only recently signing with the Fire?
We supporters are excited for the playoffs, for the opportunities that lie ahead, and for a home game, but we’re also realistic, especially after the last two unfortunate seasons.
Atlanta United: Well, here we are…The new kids in the league are in the playoffs. A 4th place finish to the regular season is better than where I thought we’d be at the beginning of the season. This gives us home field advantage for Thursday’s knockout round game – and home field advantage in Mercedes-Benz Stadium could be significant. We’ve also won both games against Columbus (#SaveTheCrew!) earlier this season – although we did lose to them in the preseason Carolina Challenge Cup in February.
This team is much stronger now. They’ve now had an entire season to get to know each other. We have a solid starting lineup – even with a few subs because of injuries. And with over 70,000 people expected at the game on Thursday to cheer them on, I think Atlanta United has a really good chance at hoisting that cup in December.
The boys are ready for this. Atlanta is ready for this.
Columbus Crew:In the middle of the season, the Crew was struggling and looked unlikely to make the playoffs, but Berhalter seems to have the magic touch with his team at the end of the season.The tie against NYCFC took the Crew’s unbeaten streak to 10.It kept the team in the 5th spot while a win could’ve put them in 2nd place.
The team is dealing with a lot of distractions with a fan base who passionately loves them and is distraught that an owner would take them away.(#savethecrew)However, if the team can keep their form and absorb the passion the fans are showing them, they actually have a chance against Atlanta.Although, it will be a tough away game.The fans really need them to win, so we have a home playoff game to show how much we love the players.
New York Red Bulls: Whew! Just made it in under the wire. But RBNY is in the playoffs for the 8th season in a row. Always the bridesmaid, RBNY is the only MLS 1.0 team (originally the NY/NJ Metrostars) never to lift the MLS Cup. Coach Jesse Marsch has said that the team has been the favorite during the playoffs to no avail and that it’s time to be underdog.
I’m expecting a solid performance from Tyler Adams and the rest of the back line as well as more attacking from Daniel Royer. Defender Aurelien Collin has been working his way back to full health, and Jesse hopes to be able to bring him back into the 18. Dax McCarty and the Chicago Fire are the first obstacle in the knockout round, and another edition of the Hudson River Derby is practically guaranteed after that. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth having ever is. Fight Together.
Portland Timbers: It is not an overstatement to say that for the Timbers this Sunday’s game was the most important game of the year up to this point. The Cascadia Cup was on the line, as was the chance to win the conference and a first round bye.
With a Portland win, they have won the West and a first round bye. They also take back the Cascadia Cup, the coveted supporter-owned trophy awarded to whichever northwest team has the best finish among the three Cascadia-area squads. If Portland had tied or lost, Seattle would have taken the Cup, and Portland would almost certainly have dropped to third or fourth place, hosting a midweek knockout round game.
As I expected, Attinella remained in goal, with Vytas and Powell on the wings, and Mattocks up top as we wait for Fanendo Adi to be match fit. And with PTFC’s Mattocks being a former Whitecaps player there was plenty of opportunity for a knife-twisting match finish as he gave us the go-ahead goal to seal the deal. Now we wait to see who makes it out of the knockout round.
Seattle Sounders: It is finally time to defend our cup.This year has been such an up and down year.There are days where we look like the team from last year’s run.And then there are games where we look like a team that hasn’t even played together before.
The game against FC Dallas gives me hope that maybe we are turning a corner.With a win on Sunday gives us a much needed bye.This will give the team time to heal up.I can’t wait for this run at the MLS cup.I really hope the top team in the East loses so we can host the cup this year!!
Vancouver Whitecaps: The Whitecaps were able to pull themselves above the red line in a very decisive way, landing themselves in 3rd place in the Western conference after flirting with the top spot for a hot minute. They will meet the San Jose Earthquakes in the knockout round at home in Vancouver. This is a decided advantage for the Whitecaps, as BC Place has been a fortress for the team this season.
*Houston Dynamo: The Dynamo played VERY well at home this year, giving up only one game at home at BBVA during the regular season. And they have to be looking forward to the opportunity to take on Sporting KC again, having just beaten them at home less than two weeks ago and drawing them in Kansas City shortly thereafter. If they manage to pull it off, their next opponent will be one of the top two finishers in the West, Portland or Seattle.
Sporting KC: I am not pleased with how this season ended, and I am not pleased that Sporting fell from 1st to 5th in the West over the last third of the season. If we’re going to make it anywhere in the playoffs we have to do one thing…score goals. It seems like that should be pretty easy, but obviously it’s not since SKC scored just 3 goals in their last 5 games.
If the Sporting team from the beginning of the season comes back then we could be in good shape, but the run will be hard since we have no home field advantage. Hopefully, with this being the third game against Houston in a two week span we’ll have them figured out. Sporting, don’t make this city regret all the energy you put into the US Open Cup. We need some of that magic for the playoffs.
*San Jose Earthquakes: The Quakes had a wild finish to the regular season, with the winning goal coming three minutes into stoppage time against expansion side Minnesota United. Now they travel to Canada on only three days rest for a single game elimination round. They may still manage the upset against a Whitecaps squad that is struggling to put games away at precisely the wrong time in the season.
If San Jose can pull it off, they will face Portland in a conference semifinal, a team they’ve beaten at home twice during the regular season.
(Teams marked with a * do not have an official reporter from MLSFemale. If you support any of these teams, find your inner reporter and contact us!)
The Seattle Sounders faced off against Minnesota United just 15 days after their 4-0 rout in Minnesota. This time though; it was a very different story. The Sounders had to fight for this one, they had to come from behind and keep pushing for their well deserved 3 points.
Kelvin Leerdam–Roman Torres–Chad Marshall–Joevin Jones
Ozzie Alonso—Gustav Svensson
Nicolas Lodeiro—Clint Dempsey—Cristian Roldan
Seattle’s shutout streak ended at 421 minutes on a Minnesota goal by Ethan Finley in the 21st minute. Chad Marshall responded 10 minutes later on a cross from Nicolas Lodeiro to even the score at 1-1. The Sounders couldn’t grab a game winner before the 80th minute (this is Seattle after all) which carried the game into what I like to call ice-chewing-nervous-pacing-run-to-the-bathroom-500-times zone.
But, like what always seems to happen (this is Seattle after all) the Sounders got their shot at a game winner in the 94th minute. After a handball in the box, Clint Dempsey scored a PK to keep the unbeaten streak alive (9 games!!)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- I love the Seattle Sounders but they WILL give me a heart attack one day. Evidence: this season Seattle has scored 5 goals after the 88th minute – 4 of those have been to tie or win a game, they’ve scored 3 (3!?) goals in the 94th minute.
Fun Facts and Notes:
The Sounders are in first place with 40 points!!
It’s Cascadia Week!! The Sounders play Vancouver Wednesday and Portland Sunday
I tried to come up with some eclipse humor for this but I couldn’t
I slipped and busted my hip while I was celebrating last night (Sounders fuzzy socks+hardwood floors=not great)
The Seattle Sounders played a historic game Wednesday night. The game started out less than ideally for Seattle, but in the end, the Sounders became the first team in MLS League history to overcome a 3-0 deficit v DC United and win in regulation. *this was also the first Sounders game I’ve been able to go to in over a year. Coincidentally, the last game I went to was a Sounders 2-0 win over DC United in DC last year.
The Sounders were missing Stefan Frei and Ozzie Alonso to injuries and Jordan Morris and Clint Dempsey, both on duty with the national team. They lined up as follows:
Brad Evans, Roman Torres, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones
Gustav Svensson, Cristian Roldan
Aaron Kovar, Nicolas Lodeiro, Harry Shipp
DC United scored in the 8th minute on a goal by DeShorn Brown, then again in the 27th minute. The Sounders were playing good soccer, but weren’t getting attacks off, and their defense and midfield had some weak spots dropping back.
Five minutes into the second half, DC United sunk the Sounders ship a little more and made it a three goal deficit. But, Will Bruin and the mighty Sounders fought back, and in the 51st minute, Bruin made it a 2 goal deficit.
Now CenturyLink Field was excited. Everyone knew that the Sounders could come back. 11 minutes later Brad Evans closed the gap a little bit more. Seattle still had 28 minutes to play and had all the momentum going.
Gustav Svensson picked a great time for his first MLS goal and tied it at three in the 74th minute. Just 4 minutes later, Cristian Roldan showed Bruce Arena and the USMNT exactly what they were missing and scored the Sounders 4th goal on the night and sunk DC United’s ship into the Puget Sound.
*Nicolas Lodeiro picked Cristian Roldan up after he scored and it was adorable
Unfortunately, Seattle’s party was spoiled a little by Nicolas Lodeiro being sent off in the 89th minute with a red card for violent content. Lodeiro will miss the game against San Jose Earthquakes Sunday.
Seattle scored 4 goals in 27 minutes to complete their second half comeback
Seattle is above the red line(YAY!!) and tied for 4th in the west with PDX and Vancouver
The Sounders have a total of 27 points on the season with a record of 7-7-6
This was the largest comeback in club history
Will Bruin and Clint Dempsey now both have 7 goals on the season
Evans and Svensson both got their 1st of the season
Cristian Roldan got his 3rd
5th time in club history that SFC has had 4 or more different goal scorers in same game
3rd time in club history that Sounders have scored 4 goals in a half
Wednesday night marked the debut of new signing Kelvin Leerdam, a Dutch RB
Seattle’s first 3 goals were scored within 15 minutes of each other, the second fastest time between goals in club history
Stefan Frei was selected for the MLS All-Star game, no other Sounders players were selected
It has been an insane couple weeks for the Seattle Sounders.Two weeks ago we had that miserable game in New York, then the Orlando game that felt like a loss with the goal in the dying minute of the game.Then we had the Portland game when we go down a goal, and a player, only to come back at the death – so a draw that feels like a win. We come to last Tuesday, the 4th of July game.
Colorado Rapids have not been the same since last year when the Sounders faced them in the Western Conference Final.To start the night, Colorado was below us in the standings, both of us below the red line.The Sounders started the game short-handed.We only had 5 players on the bench due to international duty, injuries and suspension.I would love to have a full roster at some point during this season, but that is a discussion for another day.We have signed a new player but he is not eligible until July 10th.
One would think this would be a horrible game, but actually, it was a great game… for the most part.
The game starts fast, and the Sounders are moving the ball really well.It seems like they have actually made progress. This is a nice change of pace.In the 6’, Clint Dempsey scores an awesome goal with the assist coming from Jovein.From there, game goes downhill quick.
In the 13 minute, Ozzie is taken down by a heavy challenge.He needs help off the field and is replaced by Kovar.It gets worse from there.In the 22nd minute, Chad Marshall goes down hard and has to come out, with an ankle injury.So even with having a goal lead and Colorado defense being less than stellar, I think all Sounder fans were really nervous.But the Sounders seem to fight even harder as the game goes on.Will Bruin gets a stunner of a goal in the 30th minute. We head into halftime up 2 – 0.
The Sounders come out fighting in the second half.This has been the best the Sounders have looked in a long time.Maybe things are turning around.Kovar comes close to scoring.Of course, with our patched together defense, can’t stop everything.Colorado starts to push a lot and finally in the 78th minute they get a goal.Stefan Frei then has a save that might give The Save a run for its money.Finally, in the 85th minute, Dempsey scores an amazing goal that seals the game.
Overall, this was a very good game.There were ups and downs but, finally, we come home with 3 points and we are back above the red line.
I am really glad we have 2 weeks off so our players can heal and be ready for a push to the playoffs.The next game is Saturday, July 8 with a friendly againstEintracht Frankfurt.
Next MLS game is July 19th at home against DC United.
The Seattle Sounders lost 2 goals to 1 against New York City FC on Saturday in a wet and slippery Yankee Stadium. Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris (USMNT) Joevin Jones (Trinidad and Tobago), Oniel Fisher (Jamaica), and Roman Torres (Panama) are all back from their national teams. The Sounders lined up in their typical 4-2-3-1, playing all their returning internationals but Roman Torres.
Oniel Fisher, Gustav Svensson, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones
Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan
Harry Shipp, Nicolas Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey
The game kicked off just as fans in Seattle were waking up, fans in New York were being poured on. The teams settled in, with the occasional chance resulting in someone looking like they were on a slip-n-slide (seriously, check out the photos and GIFS from the game. They’re hilarious). Both teams had trouble with the standing water on the field, the ball would stop and players had trouble kicking it. Neither team had a dangerous chance until the Sounders struck first with a goal from Cristian Roldan in the 40th minute.
The New York defense turned the ball over near CR7, who passed it to Harry Shipp, who then passed back to Roldan. The ball deflected off a defender then off Clint Dempsey and found its way to Roldan’s feet. Roldan kept running with the ball, and opted not to pass to Dempsey and scored the opening goal (seriously why is this guy not on the national team??).
In the second half, the ref awarded a penalty for Oniel Fisher “pushing” David Villa in the back. While I don’t think he dove, I don’t think he was pushed, my thought is that he slipped with all the water (but hey, I’ll always have a soft spot for Villa as a Barca fan ;)). Anyways, Villa equalized so congratulations on your 50th goal for NYCFC David*.
The Sounders subbed in Will Bruin for Harry Shipp, moving Morris back to play Shipp’s role and Bruin to be the lone striker. The Sounders had several dangerous chances following the sub, but didn’t capitalize on any.
In the 77th minute, David Villa scored again* for NYCFC on a cross from Jack Harrison. This sunk the Sounders ship for good, Seattle never found an equalizer.
*seriously Villa, you couldn’t have waited until you play Portland?!?!?! ok i’m over it
Takeaways and notes
Cristian Roldan deserves to be on the USMNT*.
Stefan Frei got his US Citizenship on Tuesday so — 1. Congratulations!! And 2. He’s now eligible to play for the USMNT
The game should’ve been stopped at half time, it was said during the broadcast that if the ball stopped moving due to rain/standing water that the game would be stopped. The ball did stop moving several times.
Nicolas Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris need to work better on the field. They should go fishing or dancing or something. **
The Sounders play again Wednesday against Orlando (which happens to also be their pride celebration)
I don’t know if this is just me, but can we do something about these game times?
The game Saturday started at 1pm ET, which meant many Sounders fans had to wake up earlyish for a game.
The game against Orlando starts at 7:30pm PT, which means many Orlando fans have to stay up late on a weeknight.
*seriously Cristian Roldan should be on the national team. He and Jordan Morris could use their BFF powers for good. They could be like Captain America and Wonder…Man? And maybe it’s just me, but I would LOVE to see a USMNT that had DeAndre Yedlin, Cristian Roldan, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, and Christian Pulisic all playing together.
**Maybe the Sounders need to start dancing after games again. It worked last year.