After a day off yesterday, the Sounders return to training today. I should have some notes from that session around midday. Until then, here's a look at the week ahead, provided by the club:
Faced with the final stretch of the MLS regular season, Seattle Sounders FC continues its chase for the 2013 Supporters' Shield on Saturday night with a visit to the Colorado Rapids. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT at Dick's Sporting Good Park in Commerce City, Colo.
Sounders FC can clinch a berth in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs with a win on Saturday night. A draw or a loss for Seattle would force the club to wait another week for an opportunity to qualify for the playoffs.
Saturday's match will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network with John Strong and Kyle Martino on the call. The match will also be available on 97.3 FM with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller calling the action, and can be heard in Spanish on La Gran D 99.3 FM.
Sounders FC (15-8-6, 51 points) currently sits even with Real Salt Lake atop the Western Conference standings, and is tied-second in the Supporters' Shield race - one point behind the league-leading New York Red Bulls.
Seattle extended its unbeaten streak to seven (5-0-2) games with a 1-1 draw against the Red Bulls on Sunday, marking the longest active unbeaten streak in MLS. Brad Evans returned to the starting lineup and converted his seventh career penalty kick as Sounders FC continued its home dominance in 2013.
The scene now shifts to the Rocky Mountains where the upstart Rapids (12-9-9, 45 points) hold the fifth and final playoff spot in the West, just one point clear of sixth-place San Jose. Following a nine-match unbeaten run from the end of June through August, the Rapids have dropped two of the last four outings, including a 1-nil defeat at Portland in Colorado's last match on September 20.
Sounders FC is riding an eight-game unbeaten run against the Rapids, including seven straight wins until a 1-1 home draw on July 20. In Seattle's last visit to Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Obafemi Martins notched his first career MLS goal in a 1-0 win on April 20.
Seattle will then return to the Pacific Northwest for back-to-back Cascadia Cup games. Sounders FC hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on October 9 and visits the Portland Timbers on October 13. Seattle will conclude the regular-season campaign with a road match at FC Dallas on October 19 followed by the finale against the LA Galaxy on October 27 on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.