Emmanuel Son, Staff Writer
The 2019 season of Major League Soccer is coming to a close. As of the team’s win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 29, 2019, the Sounders stand 10-2-4 and third place in the Western Conference. This gave the team hope as it was looking like the team and their fans would have to kiss their season goodbye. However, the Sounders now have a chance at clinching the two seed in the Western Conference. Overall, the team has not had a bad season, despite being one seed lower than last year’s 10-5-2 overall.
Though things are currently looking well and hopeful for the team, there have been many rough rides this season, especially weeks 15 to 17. The team has had trouble completing a well put together 90-minute performance, and it seemed as if late goals or last-minute runs were what the team relied on to win their games. Luck seemed to play a big role in their performance. But the game against the San Jose Earthquakes showed that they were able to remain competitive and put themselves into a proper mindset to take a win late in the game.
The Sounders did not win any games during weeks 15 to 17. Their opponents were San Jose, LA Galaxy, and Minnesota, which all ended as draws. Additionally, the team lost to Pacific Northwest rival Portland Timbers in their first Cascadia Cup this season at CenturyLink field. The Sounders would later redeem themselves against the Timbers in Portland. Their other Pacific Northwest rival, the Vancouver Whitecaps, ended up tying with the Sounders in the first match, but lost to the Sounders in the second meeting.
Because of a good end to the regular season as well as some luck, the team now has a spot in the playoffs. A series of Timbers and Earthquakes losses during weeks 30-31 has given the Sounders their spot in the playoffs. This sets a league record for consecutive playoff appearances, breaking the LA Galaxy’s ten-year run from 1996-2005. With a win against Minnesota at CenturyLink Field on October 6, the Sounders would clinch the number two seed.
It is clear that the second half of the season showed much needed improvement. While the Sounders show their struggles, especially on the front foot, the team has been better at coordination, catapulting them into the playoffs. This can only be possible if the team remains healthy. Especially with the new bracket format the MLS has emplaced, winning the cup will not be easy, but the Sounders had been able to turn things around for a chance into the playoffs. Fans could only wait to see if the changes the team has made will be good enough for the playoffs.