Christian Roldan scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 31st minute and the Seattle Sounders wrapped up an MLS playoff berth
Christian Roldan scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 31st minute and the Seattle Sounders wrapped up an MLS playoff berth with a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Sunday in the regular-season finale.
The Sounders (14-14-6, 48 points) made the playoffs for the eighth year in a row. They have never missed the postseason since joining MLS in 2009. Seattle will go in as the Wests No4 seed, hosting Sporting Kansas City in a knockout round game in the coming week.
Real Salt Lake (12-12-10, 46 points) also got in, thanks to Portlands 4-1 loss at Vancouver that eliminated the defending champion Timbers on goal difference. RSL will be the Wests No6 seed and visit Los Angeles.
Roldans goal was his fourth of the year and came from close-range after he pounced on a loose ball. The game started with a flurry of early goals: Alvaro Fernandez gave Seattle the lead in the third, and Luke Mulholland pulled Salt Lake level in the fourth before Roldan settled matters.
FC Dallas continued their dominant season as they clinched the Supporters Shield awarded to the team with the best regular-season record with a scoreless draw with LA Galaxy. Dallas won the US Open Cup last month, and can claim a historic domestic treble the first in MLSs history if they triumph in the playoffs. The club are also through to the Concacaf Champions League quarter-finals.
The New York Red Bulls clinched first seed in the Eastern Conference ahead of local rivals New York City FC. The playoffs spots in the East had been all but decided prior to this weekend.
Teams qualifying for MLS playoffs:
Eastern Conference: New York Red Bulls; New York City FC; Toronto FC; DC United; Montreal Impact; Philadelphia Union
Western Conference: FC Dallas; Colorado Rapids; Los Angeles Galaxy; Seattle Sounders; Sporting KC; Real Salt Lake