The Sounders and New York Red Bulls will meet at 6 p.m. Sunday in a game that could determine the top spot in the Supporters Shield race. ... However, depending on other results across the league, the game could also clinch a playoff berth for the Sounders ... something that wasn't a foregone conclusion for much of this season.
Here's a preview from MLS:
A gigantic encounter between Supporters’ Shield frontrunners – both with a chance to clinch a playoff berth – will captivate ESPN viewers Sunday at 9 p.m. ET when the League-leading New York Red Bulls travel to face Seattle Sounders FC. But the nationally-televised Soccer Sunday action begins on NBC at 3:30 p.m. ET, when the Portland Timbers will host the LA Galaxy with just one point separating them in the Western Conference standings. In the nightcap Sunday at 11 p.m. ET on UniMas, San Jose travel to Chivas USA in a critical match for the Quakes as they try to climb their way back into a playoff spot.
The Red Bulls (51 points) and Sounders (50 points) head into the final month of the regular season on top of the Eastern and Western Conference standings. The two clubs are fighting to secure the League’s best record and home field advantage in the postseason. The Red Bulls have won four straight matches while the Sounders are unbeaten in their last six. Both teams are seeking their first Supporters’ Shield, as well as their first MLS Cup. A win by either side, combined with favorable results in other matches (see scenarios below), would secure the first spot in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs.
In the matinee at raucous JELD-WEN Field, the Timbers seek three points toward earning their first postseason appearance since joining MLS in 2011, while the star-studded Galaxy aim to leap over Portland into third place in the West.
Seattle Sounders FC will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
· Seattle Sounders FC win vs. New York Red Bulls on Sunday AND
· FC Dallas lose vs. Columbus Crew on Sunday AND
· San Jose Earthquakes lose vs. Chivas USA on Sunday
New York Red Bulls will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
· New York Red Bulls win vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday AND
· Philadelphia Union tie or lose vs. Sporting Kansas City on Friday OR
· Chicago Fire tie or lose vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday
· New York Red Bulls tie vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday AND
· Philadelphia Union lose vs. Sporting Kansas City on Friday OR
· Chicago Fire lose vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday