Sounders FC season-ticket holders will be told today how they can purchase tickets for MLS playoff games in Seattle.
The Sounders haven’t clinched a playoff spot. But their 1-0 win at Columbus on Saturday put them in good enough position that club management decided it’s time to prepare for the postseason, which begins Oct. 29. There has been no announcement about when playoff tickets will be made available to the general public.
However, such decisions have moved to the front burner because the weekend infusion of three points raised the Sounders (10-7-11) to 41 points with two games remaining. They drew even with Chivas USA for third place in the Western Conference, tied for fourth place overall and scooted five points ahead of D.C. United, which is the top team currently out of the eight playoff positions.
The win also moved Seattle to three points behind Western Conference co-leaders Houston and Los Angeles. And that once again allowed coach Sigi Schmid the luxury of looking hopefully up in the standings rather than warily back.
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“We’ve got 41 now, which was important for us to get (into the playoffs),” Schmid said. “It also gets us on the backs of L.A. (and Houston), so there’s still a chance we can finish second out West, which is something we’d like to do.”
The first- and second-place team in each conference is assured of seeding advantage in the playoffs. Their edge is that they get the second game at home in the first-round matches, which are decided by aggregate score in two games.
In only two MLS seasons have teams reached the 40-point total and not made the playoffs. However, Schmid said he is taking nothing for granted.
“We still want more,” he said. “I joked (when coaching Columbus) last year that once we get the asterisk next to our name that says we’re in the playoffs then we’ll be happy. It’s the same thing.”
The Sounders are off today before returning to practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in preparation for their next game, Oct. 17, at Kansas City.
Meanwhile, they’ll be watching the scores of the four MLS games this week.
The Sounders will conclude their first regular season Oct. 24, when FC Dallas visits Qwest Field.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808