Sounders Insider

How many points needed for playoff safety?

Here's a note that the Sounders media relations department has included in recent game previews:

Forty points has proven to be the threshold for teams aiming to secure one of the eight MLS playoff berths. In the league’s 13 seasons to date, only twice has a club with 40 or more points missed the cut (41 by Miami in 2000 and 45 by Kansas City in 2005). A minimum of 39 points was required to reach the postseason over the last four seasons, with a maximum of 45 needed by Los Angeles in 2005. In 2008, New York earned the eighth and final slot with 39 points, and the Red Bulls went on to reach the MLS Cup Final.

The Sounders currently have 34 points, which sets up the possibility of getting into the playoffs with just six points over their final six games.

I take a look at that possibility in today's paper. However, there have been exceptions to that MLS 40-points guideline, and it looks to me like this might be one of them. This season's playoff race seems too tightly bunched at the back end for anyone to count on limping in with just six more points over the final six games.

Here's a good look at the playoff picture from

Magic number, anyone?