Seattle Sounders Skyrocket to Second Place in the West on Decision Day

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Seattle Sounders Skyrocket to Second Place

SEATTLE, Washington (Oct. 28, 2018) — Who would’ve thought this would happen?

In the beginning and middle of the season, MLS fans wrote off Seattle Sounders FC. There would be no historic 10th-straight season going into the playoffs. There wouldn’t be enough in the tank to fire up for a few wins.

Seattle Sounders Skyrocket to Second Place in West on Decision Day

However, the Sounders never gave up — and didn’t give in.

Instead, the Sounders players, coac, es and organization buckled down and got to business. A historic win-streak propelled the Sounders from last place to sixth place, earning a playoff spot. Each week, the Sounders found themselves climbing up the Western Conference standings.

Now, on Decision Day, the field is set for the playoffs.

Not only are the Sounders in the postseason — which is historic, since the club has made the playoffs in every single season they’ve been part of the league — but the team has a pretty good starting spot.

With a little assistance from FC Dallas falling to the Colorado Rapids, the Sounders are in second place. With that result, the Sounders earn a first-round bye week and have finished right behind Sporting Kansas City. The Sounders hold 59 points to their name after defeating the last-place San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, at CenturyLink Field.

How It Happened

At first, doom fell over CenturyLink Field.

After a scoreless first half, Chad Marshall opened up the scoring account, but not for his side. Instead, in the 64th minute, Marshall scored an own goal past his own goalkeeper Stefan Frei. San Jose, a club that has trailed in last place for a majority of the season, had some hope.

With Chris Wondolowski only two goals away from tying the all-time scoring record in MLS, all engines were roaring for the Earthquakes. However, RaĂșl RuidĂ­az, Seattle’s Peruvian striker that was signed after the FIFA World Cup, had other plans.

RuidĂ­az opened up Seattle’s tally in the 79th minute, giving the Sounders some breathing room. With a draw, the Sounders would have at least taken fifth place. However, RuidĂ­az wasn’t finished, as he scored the game-winning goal in the 93rd minute, in second half stoppage time.

RuidĂ­az finished the match with two shots on goal. The goals were his only attempt at the net throughout the entire day.

Meanwhile, in goal, Frei recorded three saves against Danny Hoesen and Tommy Thompson. Wondolowski, who was chasing a big-time record, did not record a single shot on goal throughout the match. For San Jose in goal, James Marcinkowski made five saves to deny further opportunities from Víctor Rodríguez, Cristian Roldan, Kim Kee-Hee and Osvaldo Alonso.

What’s Next?

Seattle is in the playoffs with time to rest.

The Sounders will return to action on Nov. 4 and Nov. 11 for their leg matches. Seattle will face the highest-ranked team to advance to the conference semifinals. With that said, Seattle would either face FC Dallas, the Portland Timbers or Real Salt Lake.

There is no way the Sounders would face sixth-seed RSL. The Western Conference knockout rounds will occur on Oct. 31 or Nov. 1, as the league will officially decide a date this evening or tomorrow morning.

PHOTO: RaĂșl RuidĂ­az, who scored two goals for the Seattle Sounders to propel the club to second place in the MLS Western Conference standings, is pictured against the San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 28, 2018, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. Photo courtesy of Mike Fiechtner/Seattle Sounders FC.

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