Sounders focus on playoffs, but Cascadia up next



TUKWILA, Wash. (AP) — The idea may be unsettling to Seattle Sounders fans, but with less than a month left in the regular season the priority for the playoff-bound Sounders is to avoid the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and not the Cascadia Cup.

Fortunately for Seattle fans, a win over rival Portland on Sunday would go a long way toward getting out of being the fourth-seed and the extra game that comes with that position. It also keeps alive Seattle’s hopes of retaining the trophy that goes to the winner of the Northwest rivalry involving the Sounders, Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps.

Seattle is expected to have one of the largest single-game crowds in MLS history on Sunday night against the Timbers with more than 66,000 tickets already sold. Only one other stand-alone MLS match has drawn more than 67,000 fans in league history.