Here’s our preview story from today’s News Tribune. Below are some basics:
NO. 5 COLORADO RAPIDS (14-11-9; 51 POINTS)
AT NO. 4 SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (15-12-7; 52 POINTS)
7:30 p.m., CenturyLink Field.
TV: KONG 6/16. RADIO: 97.3 FM.
CLUB LEADERS: For Colorado: G 10, Deshorn Brown; A 7, Chris Klute; S 97, Brown; SOG 30, Brown; GAA 1.10, Clint Irwin. For Seattle: G 9, Eddie Johnson; A 8, Mauro Rosales; S 61, Lamar Neagle; SOG 27, Johnson; GAA 1.27, Michael Gspurning.
HEAD TO HEAD: This is the first time the teams have met in the playoffs. The Sounders lead 8-2-2 overall and 5-0-1 in Seattle. The teams went 1-1-1 in their three meetings this season:
*APRIL 20: Sounders 1, at Rapids 0. Six games into the season, Seattle gets its first win. Obafemi Martins scores in the 65th minute, and Michael Gspurning and the defense make it stand up.
*JULY 20: Rapids 1, at Sounders 1: Drew Moor puts Colorado ahead in the 60th minute; but five minutes later DeAndre Yedlin ties it, becoming the youngest Sounder to score a goal. Result ends Seattle’s seven-game winning streak against Colorado.
*OCT. 5: Sounders 1, at Rapids 5: Deshorn Brown puts Colorado ahead 14 seconds after the first kick, the earliest goal in Sounders history. Dillon Powers makes it 2-0 in the 10th minute, and the Sounders are on their way to a historic loss: most goals allowed, and matching their largest margin of defeat.
NOTES: The winner advances to the Western Conference semifinals. The season ends for the loser. … If the game is tied at the end of regulation, there will be 30 minutes of added time. If the score remains even, the winner will be decided by penalty kicks. … The Sounders ended the regular season with a seven-game winless streak (0-4-3). The Rapids were shutout in their final three road games, all losses. … Seattle is one of three MLS teams to have made the playoffs for five consecutive seasons. Colorado is 11-17-6 all-time in the postseason, but missed the playoffs in 2012. … Seattle defender Leo Gonzalez is expected to return after sitting out last weekend. However, forward Obafemi Martins (groin) is doubtful. Colorado midfielder Dillon Powers (concussion) is doubtful. … The referee is Silviu Petrescu.
QUOTABLE: “It is going to be a tough game, but we need to go out and play hard. We need to fight for each other and not concede goals as easy. If we can keep a clean sheet, we have the quality up top to score goals and we should be able to get it done.” – Seattle designated player Clint Dempsey
NEXT: The winner opens a two-game aggregate-score Western Conference semifinal series at home against No. 1 Portland at 7 p.m. Saturday.