Sounders Insider

Sounders 4th in final MLS power rankings places Sounders FC fourth in its final power rankings of the season.

The top-ranked team is the defending champion Columbus Crew. The top-ranked team in the West is the conference-winning LA Galaxy.

The Sounders are rated directly behind Houston, their opponent in the first round of the playoffs, which begin Thursday.

Here's a look at the full rankings.

And here's a look at's breakdown of the Sounders-Dynamo series:

Houston Dynamo at Seattle Sounders FC, 10:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2, Deportes)

The first game of the MLS Cup Playoffs kicks off with a matchup of the newest MLS club (Seattle), who are making the first playoff appearance for an expansion club in 11 seasons dating back to 1998 when the Chicago Fire accomplished the feat in their first season. The Houston Dynamo finished as the second seeded team in the Western Conference after defeating Chivas USA on Sunday at The Home Depot Center. Rather than flying back East to Houston, the Dynamo stayed to train in California and will travel up to Seattle directly from the West Coast to face Sounders FC on Thursday night. Sounders FC are expecting a sold-out crowd of more than 35,000 for Thursday night’s game.

They Dynamo are no strangers to the postseason, as MLS Cup champion in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007. Sounders FC are led by Sigi Schmid who is the most successful coach in terms of wins in MLS postseason history. Schmid, whose 125 regular season victories are the most in MLS history, has won two MLS Cup championships (LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew), and holds an all-time post season record of 19-7-4.