Northwest rivals Seattle, Portland and Vancouver will be kept together in the new MLS Western Conference, while the Houston Dynamo will move East to give the league two nine-team divisions in 2011.
The news broke while the Sounders were training this morning, but once told, coach Sigi Schmid had this reaction:
"It makes no difference on your schedule," he said. "In the old days, certainly when the schedules were unbalanced it made a difference. So it's no difference as to who you play and who you're playing against. Obviously, the standings and how many points you need to get into the playoffs has been different in the last two years for East and West. But I thought it seemed pretty logical as to who to keep there. The obvious choices on the west coast, I think were there, and it really did come down probably to Dallas and to Houston as the two that were probably the furthest east in terms of moving somebody. I think you probably could have flipped a coin between the two."