MLS Focus: 'Hefty achievement' for Seattle Sounders

Once before, an MLS team has made the playoffs in 10 straight years, but that took place in a different era.

The LA Galaxy made the playoffs in its first 10 years in the league, but that was in 1996-2005 when eight of 10 (or 12) teams advanced to the postseason.

In 2018, there are 12 teams in the Western Conference alone competing for six playoff berths.

The Seattle Sounders captured one of those playoff berths on Wednesday with a 2-1 win at Orlando City, clinching their 10th straight trip to the playoffs in their 10 teams in the league.

Without Nicolas Lodeiro, away on international duty with Uruguay, and Raul Ruidiaz, who played for Peru against the USA on Tuesday, Handwalla Bwana made his first start since May and scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 13th minute, 10 minutes after Victor Rodriguez put the Sounders ahead.

Brian Schmetzer, a Seattle assistant coach from the Sounders' first season in MLS until 2016 when he replaced Sigi Schmid as head coach, is one of few members of the Seattle organization who have been around for all 10 seasons.

"That’s a hefty achievement," he said of the playoff streak, "something we’re all obviously very proud of. I think Ozzie [Alonso], [director of goalkeeping] Tom [Dutra], myself might be the final holdouts, you never know, well [owner] Adrian [Hanauer], I guess you could say that. It was good."

What makes this season's playoff run so impressive is that the Sounders were 3-9-3 at the end of June,  11 points adrift of sixth place in the Western Conference. Since then, they are 13-2-2.

Trivia. Only three other MLS teams have active playoffs streaks of more than two years: New York Red Bulls (9), Sporting Kansas City (8) and NYCFC (3).

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