Vancouver whipped Real Salt Lake tonight, 3-0. It was the Whitecaps’ first win in their new home, BC Place.
However, the result — RSL’s fourth straight loss — all but assures Seattle of no less than second place in the MLS Western Conference. No less than second in all of MLS, for that matter.
Heading into their Saturday game with Philadelphia, the Sounders are seven points behind Los Angeles and six ahead of Salt Lake, with a game in hand on each. That means with every future result working in their favor, RSL could only pull even with the Sounders in the standings, and Seattle leads in the goal-differential tie-breaker, 19-8.
Meanwhile, the Sounders made it clear today that they haven’t given up on catching the Galaxy for the Supporters Shield.
“We talked about it today,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “They realize mathematically there’s still a shot at the Supporter’s Shield. Sometimes it’s not over until it’s over… [The Galaxy] play at Houston still, which is going to be difficult because Houston is going to be in need of points at the end of the year, so it’s going to be a difficult game. Chivas is not a team that’s looking for points right now, but Chivas-Galaxy is a big rivalry game—it’s like us playing Portland or us playing Vancouver—so there’s still some difficult games for them so you don’t know what’s going to happen. What we want to do is put ourselves in a position where if they do slip we’re there to take advantage of it. If they don’t slip, then we’ve maintained our rhythm of play and maintained a consistency of play.”
“We know we’re still in it,” Osvaldo Alonso said through a translator. “We feel like we’re still in it. It just depends on how the games go against the Galaxy, but right now we’re focusing on Saturday, and then we’ll just look at it a game at a time until we get there.”