[MLS PLAYOFFS: Seattle-Colorado]
The Seattle Sounders, winless in their last seven games, could not enter the 2013 MLS playoffs in worse shape.
Sounders majority owner Joe Roth
said recently Sigi Schmid
wasn't at fault for the Sounders' collapse, but the Seattle
coach basically admitted Tuesday his job is on the line Wednesday night against Colorado (TV: NBCSN, 10:30 p.m. ET).
“At the end of the day,” Schmid told
the Seattle Times on Tuesday, “my focus is Colorado and is on that game. Everything else is out of my hands.
A coach always has his bags packed, because you’re going to get fired at some point.” Recent Form (last 5 games): Seattle:
The Sounders have made the playoff all five seasons under Schmid but last
year was the first year they won a conference series and made it to the conference final.
They know regular-season doesn't translate into postseason success in MLS. In 2012, the LA Galaxy
came from the No. 4 spot -- the same the Sounders find themselves now -- to repeat as MLS Cup champion. In 2011, Real Salt Lake entered the playoffs with a six-game winless streak (four losses and two
ties) and turned around and beat Seattle, 3-0, en route to a 3-2 aggregate win that sent the Sounders packing at the first hurdle for the third year in a row.
The low point of Seattle's
2013 season came three and a half weeks ago when it fell, 5-1, at Colorado, this year's surprise team. Season Series: April 20:
Colorado 0 Seattle 1 July 20:
Seattle 1 Colorado 1 Oct. 5:
October 5 Seattle 1
The concern for the Rapids is that they have been unable to duplicate their success at home on the road. They've won their last four games in Commerce City but suffered shutout losses in their
last three games away from the confines of Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
They had clinched a playoff berth when they headed to Vancouver for their
season finale Sunday, but they suffered a 3-0 loss, handing the Golden Boot to Brazilian Camilo
, whose hat trick gave him the scoring title with 22 goals. So
much for prepping for the playoff opener.
"We didn’t show up, we didn’t perform," Rapids defender Drew Moor
, one of two starters who
played on the 2010 championship team, told
ColoradoRapids.com. "At this point of the season,
you can’t have performances like that. This might be the wake-up call we need.” INJURIES.
Both teams come into the game with injury
problems to key players. Nigerian Obafemi Martins
has missed four of the last five games with a groin injury and didn't practice Tuesday. Dillon Powers
, one of two Rapids' Rookie of the Year, has suffered from concussion symptoms and not played since a collision with Zach Scott
in the last Seattle game. Uruguay Vicente Sanchez
, who played so well in the 5-1 win over the Sounders, sat out the Vancouver game with
a shoulder injury. Seattle (Possible XI): Goalkeeper: NO. PLAYER (COUNTRY/AGE)
1 Michael Gspurning (Austria/32) Defenders: NO.
17 DeAndre Yedlin (USA/20)
34 Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Colombia/29)
19 Djimi Traore (Mali/33)
8 Marc Burch (USA/29) Midfielders: NO. PLAYER (COUNTRY/AGE)
3 Brad Evans (USA/28)
6 Osvaldo Alonso (Cuba/27)
26 Adam Moffat (Scotland/27)
27 Lamar Neagle (USA/26) Forwards: NO. PLAYER (COUNTRY/AGE)
7 Eddie Johnson (USA/29)
Dempsey (USA/30) Avg. age:
Colorado (Possible XI):
Goalkeeper: NO. PLAYER (COUNTRY/AGE)
31 Clinton Irwin (USA/24) Defenders: NO. PLAYER (COUNTRY/AGE)
22 Marvell Wynne (USA/27)
3 Drew Moor (USA/29)
27 Shane O'Neill (USA/20)
Chris Klute (USA/23) Midfielders: NO. PLAYER (COUNTRY/AGE)
12 Hendry Thomas (Honduras/28)
24 Nathan Sturgis (USA/26)
2 Nick LaBrocca (USA/28)
30 Gabriel Torres (Panama/24)
26 Deshorn Brown (Jamaica/22) Forward:
NO. PLAYER (COUNTRY/AGE)
9 Edson Buddle (USA/32) Avg. age:
25.8 Local TV: Seattle:
KONG 6/16, Spanish-language: THIS-TV (KOMO2) Colorado: