Sounders FC took a 3-1 win over FC Dallas tonight at CenturyLink Field.
However, that was just one part of a chain of events that:
*Assure Seattle of a first-round playoff match with Real Salt Lake for the second consecutive season, with only seeding yet to be determined.
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*Set another MLS attendance record for the Sounders: an average of 43,144 per game.
*Eliminated Dallas from the playoffs, and thereby clinching the fifth and final playoff spot in the West for Vancouver.
There was a fair slice of irony in that last one, as the Whitecaps’ 1-0 loss to Portland earlier in the day had cost the Sounders the 212 Cascadia Cup, which went to the Timbers.
“It seems like we had to do (the Whitecaps) a favor tonight,” acting coach Brian Schmetzer said. “Hopefully we will get that favor repaid to us at some point in the future.”
On this rainy Sunday, the Sounders got two goals from Brad Evans: a penalty kick that opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, and another assisted by Christian Tiffert and Fredy Montero in the 60th minute.
The final goal came in the 79th minute, Mauro Rosales getting the goal, assisted by Montero and Eddie Johnson.
I’ll be back with more soon.79th minute:
GOAL Sounders. Mauro Rosales sliding home a short pass from Montero. Seattle, 3-1.
60th minute: GOAL Seattle. Brad Evans from about 10 yards. Assist to Tiffert after a quick start at midfield from Montero, who also gets an assist. Seattle, 2-1.
Attendance: 38,755. That brings the season average to 43,144, an MLS record.
Second half: ... had begun. No changes.
41st minute: GOAL Dallas. Blas Perez cleans up from near the left pole. Even, 1-1.
32nd minute: GOAL Sounders. Brad Evans nails a penalty kick awarded after Dallas defender Hernan Pertuz took down Fredy Montero in the box. Seattle, 1-0
30 minutes in: Still scoreless. Still raining.
First 15 minutes: Scoreless. Good chance by Eddie Johnson fired high and wide.
First kick: The game has begun. Sounders in rave/blue. Dallas in red-white hoops/red. Gspurning in pink jersey.
Sounders take the pitch knowing they have lost Cascadia Cup, but that a win tonight clinches at least third place in the MLS Western Conference.
Dallas takes the pitch alive in the Western playoff hunt, by virtue of the Whitecaps' loss in Vancouver.
Lineups: Sounders first 11: G Gspurning; D Johansson, Parke, Hurtado, Burch; M Rosales, Alonso, Evans, Tiffert; F Montero, Johnson. Reserves: Hahnemann, Estrada, Martinez, Ochoa, Rose, Seamon, Zakuani.
For Dallas: G Hartman; D Loyd, Pertuz, Hedges, Benitez; M Hernandez, Jocobson, Castillo, Villar, Ferreira; F Perez. Reserves: Sanchez, Jara, Leyva, Marcelin, Rodriguez, Sealy, Warshaw.
From Vancouver: Portland gets its first road win of the season, 1-0 in Vancouver, and with it the 2012 Cascadia Cup. The Timbers went 3-1-2, Sounders 2-1-3, Whitecaps 0-3-3.
Pregame: I've arrived at the stadium where the weather is mixing and matching between sun, clouds, rain, and even hail.
Kickoff is 6 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPN, heard on the usual radio outlets, blogged here, and tweeted @donruiztnt.
Also a reminder that the Cascadia Cup-deciding Timbers-at-Vancouver game is on Root right now (0-0 as I write this four minutes after first kick).
I'll update that game here, and be back with lineups and any other pregame news.