Taking a Peek: Looking at the rest of the Seattle Sounders season

Seattle Sounders Schedule
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The Seattle Sounders just wrapped up a nine point week. To end September, the Sounders pick up a surprise victory against Sporting Kansas City and then in the midweek took down the San Jose Earthquakes. The three-point victory over Sporting was certainly surprising due to the extra rest Kansas City had while Seattle featured in, and lost, the Leagues Cup Final to Club Leon.

Seattle has always finished their seasons strong. This year, they started fast and were riding some inconsistent performances in the middle of the season. Now, the team is riding a three-game winning streak and sitting on top in the Western Conference.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the Sounders schedule through the end of the regular season.

Oct. 9: Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Seattle will take on the Vancouver Whitecaps at home — one of Seattle’s final three home matches — this upcoming weekend. September was a good month for the Whitecaps, who picked up a couple wins and some draws. In fact, the Whitecaps only lost one game in the entire month, to the Portland Timbers. Because of that, Vancouver is just under the playoff line with 37 points. The Western Conference is so tight, that Vancouver could jump up to fifth place with a win over Seattle.

However, that is a big ask of Vancouver. The Sounders obviously have a home advantage, which will help them, but Vancouver has been under-the-radar good toward the end of the season. Look out for Brian White up top, who scored a hat-trick against San Jose in Vancouver’s 3-0 win on Saturday.

Keep in mind, too, that Seattle will be without Nouhou, Cristian Roldan, Raul Ruidiaz, Xavier Arreaga and Alex Roldan due to international duty. That’s three defenders right there.

Being at home, Seattle is hard to bet against. Give me a three-point win here.

Oct. 16: Away vs. Houston Dynamo

Texas is not well represented in MLS right now. FC Dallas remains a bright light, looking and hunting for a playoff spot on the heels of Ricardo Pepi’s breakout as a stunning striker. However, Austin FC hold the last place spot in the Western Conference. And the Houston Dynamo are one spot above them.

The hiring of Tab Ramos last year — a wonder-worker for the U.S. Soccer youth national teams — hasn’t really produced results worth applauding. Houston got rocked by Sporting Kansas City this past weekend. However, they did pick up wins in September against their Texas-based foes: Austin FC and FC Dallas.

Seattle will still be without their internationals. However, this is a match they should win.

Oct. 20: Away vs. Colorado Rapids

Last night, the Sounders put up three goals in the first half against the Colorado Rapids this past Sunday night. One of those goals came from João Paulo, who will not be going away on international duty. The Rapids looked dismal and dysfunctional on the backline last night. Paulo, Cristian Roldan and Jimmy Medranda ate up the Rapids defense. Seattle will look to go into Colorado with the same intensity and confidence.

I predict the Sounders will pick up three points in Colorado.

Oct. 23: Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City

This game, right here, in my opinion, will decide the Western Conference champion. I don’t think either the Sounders or Sporting Kansas City will catch up and pass New England for the Supporters Shield — unless there’s a total collapse. However, due to the fact that Seattle and Sporting are only two-points off from each other? This could be a huge game.

Seattle won in surprising fashion, to many, on the road in Kansas City. That’s a tough place to play, and, according to my colleague Daniel Sperry who attended, the fans came ready knowing it was a big game. Now, flip that. Sporting has to come to a formidable Lumen Field with some loud and energetic fans.

I can’t tell you which way this match will go. Because the Sounders are at home, I would favor them. However, we’ve seen upsets happen before in MLS. This game will be big.

Oct. 26: Away vs. LAFC

It was hard to believe that El Traffico ended in a 1-1 draw yesterday, but it did happen. LAFC have been such an inconsistent team this year. This isn’t the same LAFC that entered the league with a bang and dominated all the way through. LAFC haven’t yet reached the Final, but have gotten so close to taste it. This year, they’re not even close.

For this match, the Sounders will go to the Banc of California Stadium. However, LAFC’s energy isn’t as formidable as years’ past. This is one bad year. LAFC is a good team and Bob Bradley is a good manager. They will get past it. However, this year, they do technically have a chance to reach the playoffs, but they have to be near perfect to do so.

I can’t see them taking three points from Seattle here. Maybe a 1-1 draw, but that’s the furthest I’d go.

Nov. 1: Sounders vs. LA Galaxy

To kick off the month of November, the Sounders will go from visiting Los Angeles to hosting another LA-based team. The Galaxy come to town on Nov. 1, and the Sounders haven’t seen this opponent since June (Seattle won the game, 2-1). Seattle also took a 3-0 victory against the Galaxy earlier in the season. The team can go 3-for-3 against the Galaxy as they wind down the regular season.

The LA Galaxy have not won a match since Aug. 14, against Minnesota United. Since then, the Galaxy have compiled five losses and four draws. However, right now, the Galaxy sit in sixth place, narrowly hanging on to a playoff spot. If they can’t get back to getting victories in the win column, they could lose that spot to a team like Vancouver or San Jose.

I predict the Galaxy won’t make the playoffs, and a loss to Seattle will help cement that.

Nov. 7: Away vs. Vancouver

Finally, the Sounders finish the regular season away against the Vancouver Whitecaps. I think Seattle will get a draw out of this one, but look for Vancouver to make a final playoff push on Decision Day here. My final prediction is that the Seattle Sounders will, narrowly, take the Western Conference first-place spot.

 

Photo: Jane Gershovich/Seattle Sounders FC.