Who’s Next for Sounders FC?

Oct 28, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; The Seattle Sounders FC celebrate with the fans after defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Los Angeles 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Wow. Last night’s match has still left me speechless, or at least unable to speak after all the screaming I did at the match last night. We finally beat the LA Galaxy in a playoff match, and sent the defending champions home to watch the rest of the MLS Playoffs from their couches. Unfortunately, there’s no time to bask in the glory of our victory, as the team gets ready to play a yet-to-be-determined opponent this coming Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

So who’s it going to be? Well, we won’t actually find out until after tonight’s knockout round between the Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City, taking place in Portland’s Providence Park. If Portland wins, the Sounders will face off against #1 seed FC Dallas; if Kansas City wins, we’ll see Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps coming to town on Sunday.

The Case for FC Dallas

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being the #1 seed in the Western Conference, the Sounders have matched up well against Dallas this season, earning a 0-0 draw on the road back in March and a 3-0 victory at home during our disastrous summer. Dallas is an experienced playoff squad that could present a significant challenge to a Sounders squad that may be missing key elements in Brad Evans, Leo Gonzalez, and Nelson Valdez this Sunday.

The Case for Vancouver Whitecaps

Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Whitecaps controlled their own destiny for much of the season, but a late collapse cleared the way for Dallas to steal the #1 seed out from under their noses. Vancouver limped into the playoffs with just 5 points in their last 5 matches, and a young team playing on the road to start the playoffs is a situation that we’ll certainly want to take advantage of. Plus, a Cascadia playoff match presents an opportunity for a large contingent of Sounders fans traveling to Vancouver for the return leg in BC Place, where the Sounders have already won twice this season in MLS play.

My personal prediction: Kansas City will get the job done against a Portland team that could be missing Diego Chara and Will Johnson. Kansas City is only 4-9-4 this season on the road, while Portland is a respectable 8-3-6 at home, but Sporting KC’s lineup will return to full strength after recent suspensions and international team absences.

Expect to see the Whitecaps come to town looking for revenge after the Sounders handed them a 3-0 home loss to clinch the Cascadia Cup, and another 3-0 loss that knocked the Canadians out of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Who would you rather see in the next round? Let us know in the comments below.