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Draw sends Sounders to knockout match Wednesday

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Oct. 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm with No Comments »
October 27, 2013 10:45 pm
Sounders-Galaxy just before start of final game of MLS regular season.
Sounders-Galaxy just before start of final game of MLS regular season.

It’s gone final: Seattle 1, LA 1.

Sounders (15-12-7) end season fourth in West and now face a knockout game with Colorado Rapids, at home 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (KONG 6-16). The winner of that one goes on to a two-game, aggregate-score semifinal series with Portland.

Seattle ends regular season with seven-game winless streak (0-4-3).

Los Angeles (15-11-8) finishes third and goes directly to semifinal series with Real Salt Lake.

I’ll be back with notes and quotes.

Meanwhile, these postgame notes from the club:

• With tonight’s draw, Sounders FC has clinched the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. Seattle will host the Colorado Rapids in the Knockout Round on Wednesday, October 30. Time and broadcast information will be announced soon.

• Playoff tickets will go on sale Monday, October 28 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available at or by calling 800-745-3000.

• Tonight’s attendance is 66,216, marking the fourth-largest attendance for a standalone game in MLS history. Sounders FC has set the MLS attendance record for the fifth consecutive season, averaging 44,038 in 2013.

• Seattle has matched its best home record in club history, going 10-2-5 (35 points).

• Clint Dempsey scored his first goal for Sounders FC. He now has 26 career MLS goals.

• Lamar Neagle recorded his career-high fourth assist of the season, ranking third on Sounders FC.

• Seattle has gone unbeaten over the past four (3-0-1) home games against the LA Galaxy, including two regular-season games and the second leg of the Western Conference Championship last season.

• Sounders FC extended its unbeaten streak when scoring first to 49 games (38-0-11), marking the longest active streak in MLS and second-longest in league history.

• Sounders FC ranks second in MLS with 17 goals in the opening 30 minutes of the game.

78′ GOAL Galaxy. Robbie Keane ties it with his 16th of season. That result would give Sounders 4th and Wednesday home date with Colorado.

Second half: … is under way. Huge 45 minutes ahead. No changes for either side.

Halftime: Sounders 1, Galaxy 0.

Meanwhile, a final from Vancouver: Whitecaps 3, Colorado 0. The result means the Sounders will finish third in the West with a win tonight, or fourth with a draw or loss. Either way, they are assured of at least one more match at CenturyLink Field.

42′ Sounders get a gift as Omar Gonzalez sends ball across line, but Ozvaldo Alonso kicks it out of net, and referee waves play on. Clear blown call.

31′ GOAL Seattle. Clint Dempsey gets his first goal as a Sounders. Seattle, 1-0.

First 10 minutes: No solid chances yet, but Seattle controlling possession and most play has been on their attacking end.

First kick: … has been struck. The final game of the regular season is under way. Sounders in rave/blue; LA in black alternates.

Meanwhile up in Vancouver, the Whitecaps lead Colorado 1-0 at halftime … which is good news for Sounders.

Lineup: Sounders: GK Gspurning; D Yedlin, Hurtado, Traore, Burch; M Evans; Alonso, Moffat, Dempsey; F Johnson, Neagle. Reserves: Hahnemann, Caskey, Ianni, Rosales, Rose, Scott, Zavaleta.

This is the Sounders’ 33rd different starting lineup over the 34-game regular season. Still, this one has a familiar ring, as Michael Gspurning returns by coach’s decision, Osvaldo Alonso returns from disciplinary suspension, and Eddie Johnson and Djimi Traore return from injury.

For Galaxy: GK Penedo; D Franklin, Gonzalez, Opare, Cochrane; M Stephens, Rogers, Sarvas, Zardes; F Keane, Donovan. Reserves: Rowe, Courtois, Garcia, Jimenez, Meyer, Leonardo, Villareal.

Pregame: The sun has popped out at CenturyLink Field about two hours before the final game of the MLS regular season: Sounders-Galaxy, 6 p.m.

The game will be shown on ESPN, heard on the usual radio outlets, and blogged here. I’ll also have more notes and comments on Twitter @donruiztnt.

The tarps are off of the upper deck and a near-record crowd of around 67,000 is expected.

Elsewhere: New York has claimed the 2013 Supporters Shield with a 5-2 home win over Chicago, and the Houston Dynamo clinched its playoff spot with a 2-1 win over D.C. United.

I’ll be back with any updates as they happen, with the lineups expected about 45 minutes before first kick.

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