The 10 MLS playoff participants could come known tonight depending on the result of the New York-Philadelphia game (5 p.m., ESPN2).
However, the Sounders' opening-round opponent won't be known until late Saturday after the results from the Real Salt Lake and then perhaps the FC Dallas games come in.
We asked Schmid today if either of those teams might be tempted to see the fourth seed and the Eastern bracket as a more appealing route than coming through Seattle as the third seed.
"The playoffs are the way they are," Schmid said. "We can argue about is it structured the right way, should it be seeded all the way 1 through 10. Those are all things that you guys can discuss, but at the end of the day these are the rules that I’m faced with as a coach, so this is what we’ve got to be prepared to do. Even thought the top three teams are going to play off against east other and knock each other out, that’s just the way it is and we’ve got to live with it."
Schmid also said he has no preference between opening in Utah or Texas. "Never have a preference. I learned that a long time ago," he said. "It happened to me at UCLA, I said I hope we play these guys and not these guys, and we end up playing the other guys. I’m sure there’s something in my constitution that the team noticed, and as a result there’s a little bit of fear. So for me it never matters. I feel confident no matter what team we play. And to win a championship you’ve got to beat everybody along the way, so it doesn’t matter."