The Sounders enjoyed their second of two straight days off today, but will return to training on Wednesday.
Here's a forward-looking scene-setter from the club:
Major League Soccer is on pause for a one week international break as 45 players from across the league will represent 19 countries in upcoming World Cup Qualifiers. For Sounders FC, it's the last bye week of the season before the Rave Green makes its final push to the MLS Cup Playoffs. Seattle will play two of its final three matches at CenturyLink Field, hosting Real Salt Lake on October 17 in the league's first match after the international break. The match will feature the second and third seeds in the West in a battle for playoff position.
The regular season will conclude with a home fixture against playoff-hungry FC Dallas on October 21 and an away contest against West rivals LA Galaxy on October 28.
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Sounders FC will also wrap up CONCACAF Champions League group play at home against CD Marathon of Honduras on October 24. Seattle has already qualified for the quarterfinal round. The break kicked off in grand style as Sounders FC hosted the Portland Timbers in one of the most memorable matches in league history. The second-largest attendance for a standalone MLS match was on hand to witness Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero lead Sounders FC to a 3-0 win over the Timbers. Johnson's goal continued his record-setting pace as his season total has now reached 14, just ahead of the club's all-time leading scorer Montero who set his own career mark at 13 goals. Michael Gspurning has continued his stingy play in the Seattle nets as he recorded his seventh shutout of the season to lead MLS with a 0.74 goals against average.
The win propelled Sounders FC into third in the West, jumping the LA Galaxy and pulling within three points of second-place Real Salt Lake. Seattle has a game in hand on all other playoff teams, and will have head-to-head meetings with both RSL and LA before season's end.
Seattle also regained control of the Cascadia Cup. With nine points in the six derby matches, Sounders FC sits one point ahead of Portland. With hopes to defend the Cup, Seattle will keep a close eye on the final Cascadia Cup match of the season on October 20 as the Vancouver Whitecaps FC hosts the Timbers. A Vancouver win or draw would award the Cascadia Cup to Seattle for the second straight year. Three Sounders FC players will take full advantage of the upcoming international break as Adam Johansson (Sweden), Eddie Johnson (USA) and Mario Martinez (Honduras) have joined their national teams for qualifiers on October 12 and October 16. The rest of the group will remain in Seattle to rest and recuperate before making the final push to the playoffs. The team will train three times this week before taking Saturday off. Sounders FC will return to the training pitch on Sunday to prepare for Wednesday's clash with Real Salt Lake.
Tickets for Sounders FC home matches are available through www.SoundersFC.com, all Ticketmaster Outlets, CenturyLink Field Box Office or by calling 877-MLS-GOAL.