Here's my Sounders story from this morning's paper, which briefly sets up the All-Star break.
But beacuse All-Star breaks are traditionally used for assessing where teams are -- and since I'm likely to be away from the computer most of the day -- I thought I'd just open this post for your takes on the state of the Sounders, with 18 regular season games behind them and 12 ahead. (Or any other soccer topics you'd like. ... I'm also hearing now that Montreal might be about to be introduced into the league. Thoughts on that? Would a Vancouver-Montreal-Toronto rivalry weaken the Seattle-Vancouver rivalry?)
Sounders FC (7-3-8, 29 points) goes into the break tied for the third-best record in the league, three points behind Western Conference leading Houston, one point behind Eastern leader Columbus.
However, Los Angeles, Chivas USA and Colorado are all within two points; and in a league where the top eight make the playoffs, nine teams are clustered between 32 and 26 points.
And Seattle will try to avoid being odd-team-out despite playing eight road games out of their final 12 -- starting Sunday at San Jose.
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I'm sure the first half will draw pretty positive marks from most Sounders fans. But how about that tough stretch run? Do you think there's abetter chance at Supporters Shield or missing the playoffs? What needs to happen for the former to be more likely? And so on.