For the first time in their brief MLS history, the Seattle Sounders have won the Supporters Shield, awarded to the best team in the league at the end of the regular season. They did it by beating the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 at home on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. The win followed a 2-2 draw in L.A. last week, which meant the Sounders only needed another draw to win the Shield. The trophy gives the Sounders two on the year, having won the U.S. Open Cup earlier this summer.
It was an extremely hard fought game by the two rivals, as chances were exchanged throughout the game. The Galaxy dictated the tempo of the match for most of the first half, but they were unable to find the back of the net. The Sounders didn’t get many chances on goal, but they took advantage when they did. Both goals were scored by Marco Pappa, who came on as a substitution in the middle of the second half. Obafemi Martins assisted on the first strike on a quickly played free kick that Pappa blasted home from the left side. Pappa’s second goal was just a flat-out “wanting it more” play, as he stole the ball from L.A.’s keeper and flicked it over a defender into the back of the net. It all led to a magical ending to a magical season for the Rave Green.
So what does it all mean, and what’s next? Well, the Sounders now are the top seed going to the MLS Playoffs and will play again next Sunday in the Western Conference Semifinals – opponent TBA (either FC Dallas or our Cascadia Cup rival Vancouver Whitecaps). Seattle will be going for the triple as they hope to win the franchise’s first MLS Cup in December. But it will be a long month to get there, as this has been the time of year when the Sounders have started to struggle as a team.
However, this team has been playing well for most of the year and rarely have two bad matches in a row. With the way that the playoff format is, Seattle has as good of a chance as anyone to bring home their third trophy of the year. When you have Clint Dempsey and Martins – who has solidified himself as the favorite to win MLS MVP – you always have a chance.
While it’s already been a special season, this club is hungry for more. These guys aren’t done yet. Lucky us!
If you missed the match against the Galaxy here are the highlights: