1) A win gets you in
Tuesday, July 26th marked a significant date in franchise history for the Sounders. It represented the day the team agreed to mutually part ways with Sigi Schmid, the only head coach they’d known during their MLS era.
Certainly it made sense at the time, with speculation pointing to the players collectively losing faith in Schmid. Whether true or not, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference and 10 points out of a playoff place after 20 games spoke for itself.
With everything that has transpired since, July 26th also marked a turning point in the season, with Brian Schmetzer taking over on a — for now — interim basis. Since then, the Sounders have taken an impressive 24 points from just 11 games and a win on Wednesday night will officially clinch a playoff spot.
Additionally, three points would see the Rave Green jump up to fourth place, putting them a step closer towards hosting a playoff game in the first round, although Schmetzer claims they’re not thinking about this. As he told The Seattle Times and the rest of the media on Tuesday: “We’re not looking ahead, not even for one second.”