It’s now time for Sounders to help themselves

TUKWILA — Midweek outcomes across the Western Conference might hardly have gone any higher than they did for the Seattle Sounders. Minnesota United (residence draw in opposition to LAFC), Real Salt Lake (loss to Austin FC) and LA Galaxy (loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps) all dropped factors.

Those outcomes helped enhance the Sounders’ possibilities to make the playoffs to about 33%, in accordance to FiveThirtyEight’s projections. That’s up from about 29% prior to these video games.

But crucial recreation for the Sounders’ playoff possibilities is one they management: Saturday’s street match in opposition to the Whitecaps. A win possible pushes the Sounders’ possibilities over 50%, whereas a loss possible pushes them down to about 15%.

“Results have gone our method,” Schmetzer acknowledged on Friday. “But we nonetheless have to do our job. We cannot suppose groups are going to roll over.”

They’ll be dealing with a Whitecaps group that placed on a powerful second-half show in opposition to the Galaxy. With their season actually hanging within the stability, the Whitecaps scored three second-half objectives to snap a four-game winless run during which they scored simply twice.

Schmetzer famous that the Whitecaps modified a couple of issues, most notably defending from extra of a 4-4-2 whereas attacking of their extra conventional 3-4-3. Whitecaps coach Vanni Sartini acknowledged that he could also be pressured to rotate his lineup a bit, however Schmetzer nonetheless expects the Sounders to have their arms full although Vancouver continues to be lacking main scorer Lucas Cavallini, who might be serving the third recreation of a four- recreation suspension.

“It’s a harmful group,” Schmetzer mentioned.

The Sounders are presently mired in a streak of seven street video games during which they’ve solely picked up a single level and are on tempo to have their worst-ever street marketing campaign (.73 factors per recreation). On their most up-to-date three-game street journey, they claimed only a single level regardless of main in every recreation and have now misplaced two street video games during which they led by two objectives, one thing they’d by no means accomplished earlier than of their MLS historical past.

If they’re to make a 14th consecutive MLS postseason — to converse nothing of what they may want to do in the event that they make the playoffs as a decrease seed — they may virtually actually want to enhance on each marks.

But that is additionally a group that’s solely marginally modified from the one which was among the many greatest in MLS away from residence a yr in the past. They are additionally visiting BC Place, a spot they’ve gone 2-1-3 below Schmetzer. The Sounders are 11-1-4 total in opposition to the Whitecaps throughout Schmetzer’s tenure.

“We’re not afraid of occurring the street,” Schmetzer insisted. “This group has confidence.”

As many as six Sounders could possibly be known as up for worldwide responsibility subsequent week, however Schmetzer appeared no less than a bit of optimistic that a few of them will nonetheless be out there for the Sept. 27 matches in opposition to FC Cincinnati.

Jordan Morris (USA), Nouhou (Cameroon) and Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador) are all on World Cup-bound sides and are unlikely to be launched. But there is perhaps extra room for compromise for Raúl Ruidíaz (Peru), Alex Roldán (El Salvador) and Albert Rusnák (Slovakia).

“They all perceive what playoffs are about in America,” Schmetzer mentioned, noting that it is a FIFA worldwide window, which implies the Sounders cannot decline the call-ups. “We’re persevering with to work with everyone to discover options.”

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