After a dramatic 1-0 victory over Vancouver, the Sounders find themselves five points out of the final playoff spot in the West. Can they continue the magic?
Nicolas Lodeiro reportedly told Sounders star striker and local golden boy Jordan Morris that Morris would score before their game against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Morris fulfilled the prophecy in dramatic fashion, scoring in the 81st minute to give the Sounders a crucial 1-0 win. Interim coach Brian Schmetzer has both benefited from the addition of designated player Lodeiro shortly after the ouster of Sigi Schmid and has coaxed a revival of the Sounders‘ offense.
It was the defense that saved the Sounders’ season on Saturday, but Morris and Lodeiro have provided a spark with Clint Dempsey on the shelf. Morris now leads the team in goals with ten, and Lodeiro has now recorded an assist or a goal in seven consecutive matches. Morris is also on his way to a historic season. He is now tied for third in goals for a rookie in MLS history. The scoring hot streak has put the Sounders back in the playoff picture.
Seattle earned three points in the Cascadia Cup, but they still have to keep climbing. In seventh place in the MLS West, they are still on the outside looking in and five points behind Sporting KC with six games left. They have to keep scoring goals while holding the defense intact without Brad Evans if necessary.
The test continues for the Sounders when they travel to Los Angeles to face recently resurrected Landon Donovan and the Galaxy this weekend. They could be without defensive captain Evans and Dempsey on Sunday in yet another crucial matchup against a Western Conference foe. As long as they have Lodeiro, with his offensive skills and his premonitions, they have a chance to catch Kansas City and make the playoffs yet again.