Yes, Seattle Sounders FC is a team that lost 5-1 to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
But the Sounders also are a team that is one win away from moving to the top of Major League Soccer while also clinching a spot in the playoffs and claiming the Cascadia Cup.
All of that is within their grasp Wednesday when they meet the Vancouver Whitecaps at CenturyLink Field.
“We know what our task is on Wednesday,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “We want to secure a playoff spot on Wednesday — we haven’t done that yet. And we’d like to wrap up Cascadia Cup if we can. And we want to come back and show who we are and what we are. Saturday night in Denver is not what we are.”
That loss to the Rapids set a Sounders record for most goals allowed in an MLS match and tied their record for largest margin of defeat.
Schmid said he didn’t sense it coming. But then the Rapids scored in the first minute, added another goal in the 10th minute,
and things snowballed.
The Sounders had some chances, but missed often. But in pushing forward to catch up, they also allowed chances for the Rapids, who didn’t miss much.
The result extended Seattle’s winless streak to three games (0-1-2). However, the Sounders’ overall 15-9-6 record still represents the highest points-per-game average in the league: 1.7. Seattle also would climb to the highest points total by beating the Whitecaps.
A win or a draw would get them the Cascadia Cup — the best record among the three Northwest teams. A win also would clinch a spot in the playoffs, although they also would qualify regardless if the Rapids win or draw at San Jose on Wednesday.
Schmid began preparing for Vancouver even before the final whistle at Colorado. Looking forward to the Whitecaps’ visit and a trip to Portland on Sunday, he limited the minutes of central defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (45) and midfielders Mauro Rosales (64) and Osvaldo Alonso (73).
All three are expected to be available against the Whitecaps. However, the Sounders will be without defender Zach Scott due to yellow-card accumulation, as well as forward Eddie Johnson and midfielder Brad Evans due to national-team duty.
National team captain Clint Dempsey was not called away while still recovering from a hamstring injury. Schmid didn’t rule Dempsey out of the Vancouver match, but indicated he is more likely to return against Portland.
“It’s basically game-by-game,” Schmid said. “I think chances of him to start getting on the field improve as this week goes on.”
Schmid gave roughly the same projection for defender Leo Gonzalez, but seemed more optimistic about having forward Obafemi Martins back for both games. The status of central defender Djimi Traore and midfielder Steve Zakuani was unsettled.
Rookie Dylan Remick made his MLS debut in the 65th minute against Colorado. “It was a good experience,” said Remick, a defender from Brown who was the 35th overall pick in the 2013 SuperDraft. “It felt good to finally get some minutes, get the debut. Obviously being down 4-1 wasn’t the ideal circumstance, but I was just happy that the coaches trusted me to put me in. I’m looking forward to the future and hopefully contributing to the team as much as I can.” Vancouver forward Camilo was named MLS player of the week after scoring both Whitecaps goals in a 2-2 draw with Portland on Sunday. That result eliminated the Timbers from Cascadia Cup contention. The Sounders will play with a pink ball and use other pink items Wednesday as part of the league’s breast-cancer-awareness efforts. Commemorative scarves, pins and ribbons also will be sold to benefit the cause.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 email@example.com/soccer