Thanks to an incredible defense-oriented game led by keeper Michael Gspurning, the Sounders FC clinched their fourth consecutive playoff berth with a tie on Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Hopefully, this one will end up in an MLS Cup Championship.
Despite the Sounders high intensity offense led by forwards Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero, the Sounders were shut down by the Vancouver Whitecaps—the fifth place team in the Western Conference. The tie guaranteed the Sounders a trip to the playoffs, and pushed the second-year Whitecaps into the lead for the final spot (five teams of each MLS conference make the playoffs). Currently, the Whitecaps have 39 points and lead FC Dallas by two. Both teams will play three more matches before the postseason begins.
The Sounders are now the first expansion team in MLS history to have made four consecutive playoff appearances. In addition to that feat, the Sounders join Real Salt Lake and the Los Angeles Galaxy as the only teams to qualify for every postseason since 2009.
Despite the playoff berth, some people were upset with the draw at Century Link Field against a Northwest rival. Midfielder Mauro Rosales told the Sounders website, “We know we are in the playoffs with that point, but it’s not enough. We came here for the three points. We hope the next game we can win at home against Portland for our fans."