Seattle Sounders FC clinched its fifth trip to the MLS playoffs in as many seasons tonight by virtue of San Jose’s scoreless draw at Los Angeles.
The Sounders (15-12-6) can still finish as high as first in the Western Conference, but no lower than the fifth and final playoff position.
Their final place will be determined by results that will play out in this final week of the season, going right down to the final regular-season game when the Galaxy visits Seattle at 6 p.m. Sunday in what could be a sold-out CenturyLink Field.
The fourth- and fifth-place finishers will meet next week in a loser-out game for the right to go on to the aggregate-score conference semifinals against the conference champion. The second- and third-place finishers form the other semifinal pairing.
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The Sounders need a win over LA next weekend to avoid that play-in game.Seattle has made the playoffs each of its five seasons since joining MLS and last season advanced to the Western Conference final.