Is there ever a right time for the Colorado Rapids to play the Seattle Sounders in Seattle? The Rapids are 0-7-1 all time against the MLS Sounders in the state of Washington. So maybe not. But the Sounders are reeling. They were given their first point in five games against LA on Sunday. The point was a gift because LA scored two goals, but one wasn't given in the worst goal-line decision I've seen in a long time. Had the refs gotten that right, the Rapids would be hosting Seattle. The Sounders players, coaches and fans all know the team has essentially lost five straight games heading into the playoffs. That's ugly.
But Seattle did get a point, they did finally get a goal from Clint Dempsey, and they must be tentatively excited to have the chance to avenge their 5-1 demolition in Denver earlier this month. So despite what must be dangerously low confidence in the Sounders team, they have reasons to be optimistic. Most importantly for them, and the reasons the Rapids are sure to be underdogs, the Sounders will be playing in front of a huge home crowd at CenturyLink Field, where the Rapids traditionally don't show up (0-7-1? That's ugly too).
All that being said, the pressure is on Seattle. They bombed out in the early stages of the US Open Cup this year and the consolation was that the added rest and league-focus might help them make a playoff run. They signed Dempsey and expected big things this season. The Rapids have shown themselves to be good enough this year to beat Seattle, and even beating an in form Seattle team in Seattle would not be complete crazy talk the way the Rapids have played this year. All season they have shown character by coming back from clunkers like last weekend's game against Vancouver and playing well in the next game. With the Sounders' poor form and the pressure they will feel, if the Rapids can harness some intensity and play at or near their best, they have a very good shot at winning this game. 1-7-1 would never look better.