The Sounders dug themselves into a mighty deep hole by losing 3-0 on Saturday at Real Salt Lake.
However, digging out would not call for the greatest comeback in MLS playoff history.
That was performed by the 2003 San Jose Earthquakes, who fell four goals behind the Los Angeles Galaxy 13 minutes into the deciding game ... rallied to tie in regulation ... and advanced with another goal in extra time.
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid knows something about that, because he was coach of the Galaxy.
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"We haven’t talked about that. That was such a weird game. ... You could feel the game tip. … I shared some stories with (San Jose coach) Frank Yallop after the game. I know what he said to the team, and if we’re in that situation maybe I’ll do the same. It wasn’t any great tactical plan, it was just come on guys we’ve got to win the ball, we’ve got to win our duels. And so for me it’s just another example that everything’s possible, that they were able to do that against us. You look at La Coruna against AC Milan a few years ago, where AC Milan won at home 4-1 and then went on the road and lost. You've got Barcelona came back against Atletico. You've got Liverpool's three goals in six minutes against AC Milan. There’s plenty of examples in the history of soccer where teams can do it. It’s just a matter of us coming through and doing it."
Some potentially relevant numbers:
Since MLS instituted aggregate-goal conference semifinals in 2003, the team losing the first leg has rallied to win the series 10 times. Four of those teams trailed by at least two goals at some point.
The Sounders scored three or more goals in eight of their 34 regular-season matches. However, they won by three or more goals only three times. That is a reminder that they not only have to score goals, but also have to prevent them.
The Sounders have come from a goal down to win or draw 12 MLS and CONCACAF matches this season. They led MLS by scoring 15 goals in the final 15 minutes of games. Six of those either won or tied the games. Five Seattle goals were scored in the 90th minute or stoppage time.