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Are Seattle’s MLS playoffs hopes vanishing before our eyes?

Oct 19, 2013, 5:28 PM EDT

Now, can this really be happening? Can it actually be that Sigi Schmid’s team might miss the playoffs entirely? Seattle sits fourth going into Saturday night … but Colorado could draw level on points later tonight, and San Jose could climb within a point before the weekend is finished.

Depending on how things set up, Major League Soccer’s final match of a very exciting 2013 season could be absolutely riveting. Because it very well may say whether the Seattle Sounders, including the league’s highest paid man, Clint Dempsey, will even be a post-season club.

What a stunning turn it would be – but the Sounders have left themselves here with poor results at crunch time.

The latest was Seattle’s 2-0 loss Saturday to already eliminated FC Dallas, seen on NBC on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Texas. And it was a pretty dour setback for the Sounders, all things considered … a loss without much of a real fight. Seattle and Dempsey only occasionally threatened an FC Dallas team missing its starting goalkeeper and best center back, George John.

That makes Seattle, where manager Sigi Schmid seems unlikely to survive if the playoffs aren’t reached (and quite possibly not even then, depending on how far the club gets in the post-season), winless in its last six MLS matches. The team has lost four in a row, out-scored over that time, 12-2.

Schmid, who was missing three significant figures in Osvaldo Alonso, Obafemi Martins and Eddie Johnson, is accepting a lot of the blame for a team that struggled to hold possession and failed to dig up an offensive rhythm.

“It rests on my shoudlers,” Schmid said, emerging from the visitors’ locker room about 20 minutes after final whistle. “We just aren’t able to come up with the right combinations on the field. … Those guys are fighting and battling. The combinations I’ve put out on the field just haven’t come up with the results.”

How is the mood of the locker room considering the run of poor results?

“Guys are obviously disappointed,” Schmid said. “But we have to get through the disappointment and come back and play. And I have to do a better job of getting the right combinations.”

  1. hildezero - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    “…seen on NBCSN on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Texas.”

    It was actually on NBC, not NBCSN, man.

  2. perrinbar - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    They are backing in, but it would take a whole mess of things happening for them to not make it. If Colorado loses today, they are in. If SJ doesn’t win out, they are in. They are not going in looking good, but they are almost certainly going in.

    • mlsconvert88888 - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:40 PM

      I agree. But then again the last thing I was this sure about was that RSL would beat DCU in the USOC final.
      Things are so intense right now, I’m loving the parity of this league.

  3. hildezero - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    So, we gotta embrace that. It’s unique. :)

  4. dfstell - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    I know some people like the parity, but honestly…..this is why I don’t like the playoffs at all. A team shouldn’t have any hope of being “champion” after losing 4 straight games in the last month of the season. It’s almost like that should be an extra way to be disqualified from the playoffs….

  5. footballer4ever - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    @dfstell

    Huh? have you heard of slump spells? The fact SSFC are experiencing it at the end of the season does not take away the other games they’ve won or tied. It just gives them the “luxury” to go thru such slump and still make the playoff unless they lose the next game. Slump or no slump, once playoffs begins, what happened in the regular season does not matter unless that losing slump continues into the playoff, of course!

  6. njsurfchick - Oct 20, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    Playoffs have nothing to do with the sport here, and everything to do with marketing to the US sports mentality. I wish we’d get rid of the playoff/supporter’s shield combo.

    • mdac1012 - Oct 20, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Well since MLS is played in the US and Canada, who would you like for them to market toward? The fact that the league has been steadily growing in popularity shows that with all it’s problems, MLS is doing something right.

  7. therealzer0cool - Oct 20, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Because it’s never too early to start planning for the future…..

    “If Not Sigi, Then Who – A Credible List of Candidates” to replace him.

    http://www.sounderatheart.com/2013/10/19/4856390/if-not-sigi-then-who-a-credible-list-of-candidates

    Short of an MLS Cup this year it’s probably safe to assume Sigi will not be the coach by this time next year.

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