Here it is. Decision Day. The final game of the season and the final chance for the Seattle Sounders to take control and grab themselves a playoff spot.
The only thing standing between the Sounders and extending their season into the MLS Playoffs? Real Salt Lake. Former MLS Cup winners and CONCACAF Champions League Runners Up.
Thankfully, RSL are not having the best season domestically and have nothing to play for other than the joy of spoiling a Rave Green party.
Here’s what the Sounders Nation team are predicting for Sunday:
Chris Martin – Editor
The Sounders have been stuttering of late, the performances simply haven’t been there, it’s been disjointed. However, Sunday isn’t about performances, it’s about the result. Sure, FC Dallas will probably beat San Jose Earthquakes anyway and the Sounders will therefore be in the MLS Playoffs. But, a win would be huge and could easily result in the Sounders moving up the table into home advantage.
Real Salt Lake have lost three of their last four games and look like they are all ready for their holidays. A switched on and fast performance from the first whistle should be enough for the win. That being said, the Sounders will hopefully remain calm and play their own way rather than panicking if they don’t get an early lead.
Prediction: Seattle Sounders 2-0 Real Salt Lake
Dan Jensen – Editor
History is on the side of the Sounders here – the squad has made the playoffs every single year since joining the league in 2007, and they’ll want to keep that streak going for a seventh consecutive season. Playing at home will be a huge factor, with an expected crowd of over 53,000 on hand to watch the Sounders clinch their playoff berth. Finally, the squad will be the closest it has been to full strength in weeks, with Pappa, Fisher, and Valdez all returning to the field and likely the starting lineup.
A full strength Sounders squad, against a depleted Real Salt Lake team with nothing left to play for, and we should be in for a party on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field.
Prediction: Seattle Sounders 3 – Real Salt Lake 1
Kyle Cockrum – Staff Writer
Real Salt Lake may have nothing left to play for, with qualification for the playoffs mathematically impossible, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be pushovers by any means.
Coming to the end of one of the worst seasons in their history, RSL will probably come out and play with purpose. That said, the Sounders have a formidable home record this season (10-4-2), and have more than the necessary personnel to secure a win on decision day. If the Sounders turn up on Sunday, they’ll have a tidy win heading into the playoffs.