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Sounders to conclude CCL group, MLS regular season

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Oct. 23, 2012 at 9:16 am with No Comments »
October 23, 2012 1:11 pm

The Sounders continue training this morning for a pair of games over the next five says that will conclude group play in CONCACAF Champions League and conclude the regular season of Major League Soccer.

Here’s our story from today’s News Tribune. And below, an overview from the Sounders:

Riding a four match unbeaten run in league play, Seattle Sounders FC looks to clinch the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference against the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer’s final match of the 2012 regular season on Sunday evening. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. PT from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Sunday’s match against the Galaxy will be broadcast nationally on ESPN with Adrian Healey, Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas calling the action. The match can also be heard live on 97.3 KIRO FM with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller on the call.

Prior to the regular season finale, Sounders FC will conclude CONCACAF Champions League group stage play on Wednesday night against CD Marathon of Honduras. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field, and will be carried live on FOX Soccer and 97.3 KIRO FM.

The penultimate week of the regular season clarified the playoff picture in the West. Supporters’ Shield winners San Jose will play the victor of the LA Galaxy/Vancouver Whitecaps FC play-in game while Seattle will meet Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinals for the second straight year. Seeding for the Sounders FC-RSL matchup is still to be determined as both sides are even on 56 points, with Seattle holding the advantage on goals scored.

Seattle continued its strong play with a pair of results last week, helping the club jump to second in the West. Sounders FC battled to a hard-fought scoreless draw against Salt Lake on Wednesday as the team played a man down for the final hour and kept its club record 12th clean sheet of the season.

Four days later, Brad Evans scored twice as Seattle eliminated FC Dallas from playoff contention with a 3-1 win, extending its undefeated streak to four games (2-0-2). Evans earned MLS Player of the Week honors for the first time in his six-year career, becoming the third Sounders FC player this season to be named the league’s top performer.

The final week of the season allows Sounders FC the opportunity to improve their position in the Champions League quarterfinals and the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Having already clinched advancement to the Champions League quarters, Seattle (3-0-0 in CCL) will look to end the group stage perfect with four wins and clinch a top four seed in next March’s knockout round. Wednesday’s match will be the third in just eight days for Sounders FC.

Seattle will then look to secure a top seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday against the LA Galaxy (15-12-6, 51 points). Los Angeles, who will host Vancouver in the play-in game, has gone winless in their past three outings after conceding a late equalizer to the Quakes on Saturday.

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