Seattle’s playoff-opening match against Real Salt Lake pairs the No. 2 record in the league against the No. 3.
Seattle had the better overall record and ended the far hotter team. However, the teams are generally thought to be close enough where firm “favorite” and “underdog” roles may not really apply.
Here’s what each coach had to say on the topic:
RSL’s JASON KREIS on the underdog role:
I’m not so sure about embracing the underdog role. I feel like that underdog role has been put upon us, it’s not something that we’re making up here. It’s the fact that the marjority of the people out there – the pundits, the writers, the fans – believe that Seattle is a better team than we are right now. So the underdog role has been put upon us. It’s not something that we’re making up. The second part of that is that we’ve been here many times before, and I think that it is something that all sports teams thrive upon.
SOUNDERS COACH SIGI SCHMID on the favorite’s role
(Kreis) just wants to put us into the favorite’s role. He wants to be the underdog and everything else. But Jason has a good team; he’s done a good job with his team. I’m not going to say we’re not playing well: I think we have played well. But all that matters is the game on Saturday and how we play on Saturday. It’s the same like Dallas-New York: All that mattered was the game last night; it didn’t matter what they had done in their four or five games prior to that or how well anybody was playing. It’s how well you play that night. We’re going to come in with the same motivation whether we’re considered the favorite or whether we’re considered the underdog. Our motivation is we haven’t done well the last two years in the playoffs, and we want to change that. That’s our motivation.