MLS Soccer

Sounders still control fate in Supporters’ Shield race

The Seattle Sounders still control their own destiny in the races for the Supporters’ Shield and top seeding in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference.

However, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appreciate a little help from FC Dallas on Sunday.

After their 1-0 home loss to Vancouver on Friday, the Sounders remain even with the Los Angeles Galaxy at the top of the league standings with 60 points each. However, the Galaxy has a game in hand, and their chance to cash in on that comes 4 p.m. Sunday at Frisco, Texas, in a match that will be broadcast on ESPN2.

“Our goals of Supporters’ Shield hasn’t changed, and our goal of winning (the) MLS Cup hasn’t changed,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “We might need a little bit of help from Dallas maybe, but we need to take care of business the last two games.”

Regardless of that result, the Sounders and Galaxy will determine their regular-season fates in head-to-head meetings Oct. 19 at Los Angeles and then in the regular-season finale Oct. 25 at CenturyLink Field.

However, Seattle’s degree of difficulty will be affected by the result in Texas. If Los Angeles fails to add points, then the Sounders need only break even on the head-to-head matches because of their advantage in the first tie-breaker: wins.

If Los Angeles moves ahead by either one point from a draw or three points with a win, then Seattle will need no worse than a win and a draw in its games with the Galaxy.

“We’re going to be rooting for Dallas to do something and help us out,” veteran forward Chad Barrett said. “It’s going to be a crazy game. Anything can happen in the MLS, and FC Dallas is a good team at home. But if they don’t do it, we have to beat LA twice, or we have to beat and tie them. It’s very doable. We’re not panicking or doing anything like that right now. But we definitely have to go back to the drawing board.”

ADDED TIME

Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey has been called to join the United States national team for its friendly match against Honduras on Tuesday in Boca Raton, Florida. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann made six changes to the squad that played to a 1-1 draw with Ecuador on Friday. However, Seattle right back DeAndre Yedlin, who assisted the U.S. goal in that match, will remain with the national team. Both Sounders are expected to rejoin the club in time for the Oct. 19 match at L.A. … FIFA has restored a two-star ranking to the FieldTurf surface at CenturyLink Field, indicative of a professional-quality surface. After turning 2 years old this season, the pitch had been downgraded to one star, indicative of a recreational-quality field. The surface was given a new test and upgraded. Even at that, however, the Sounders would like the surface replaced before next season. However, no such commitment has yet come from the stadium or its other tenant: the NFL Seattle Seahawks. … The Sounders are off Sunday. They will return to training Monday, beginning preparations for their crucial final two regular-season games against the Galaxy.

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