15 October 2014 08:52
Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid has questioned the logic of his team playing Los Angeles Galaxy twice to finish the MLS season.
The Sounders will visit the Galaxy on Sunday before hosting LA in Seattle on October 25.
Although plenty of fans are excited at the prospect that the Supporters’ Shield – the trophy for the team with the best regular-season record – will be decided over those two matches, Schmid thinks the MLS needs to look at the way it organise its fixtures.
With both the Galaxy and Seattle in the Western Conference, there could have been a situation where the two clubs played each other twice to complete the regular season and then met again in the opening round of the play-offs in a two-legged tie.
And, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, Schmid indicated there is no knowing what kind of consequences would arise from four matches in a row between the same teams.
“I still don’t think anybody likes the situation of playing a team twice at the end,” the 61-year-old said.
“It works out with us and LA because we’re not going to meet in the first round of the play-offs, no matter how it turns out.
“But it could have also been a scenario where we could have played these two games and then met in the first round of the play-offs and played four weeks in a row.
“You guys [the media] would all be bored, you wouldn’t know what to write, and it would make it a real bad thing, the same stories, and guys would be dating the other guys’ wives on the other team – it would be a bad situation.”
Seattle and LA are level on 60 points heading into Sunday’s clash at the Stubhub Center in California with both teams suffering defeats last week.
The Galaxy lost 2-1 at FC Dallas, while Vancouver Whitecaps defeated the Sounders 1-0.
Schmid’s side sit ahead of LA because they have won two more games than the Galaxy this season but the Californians did win the only other meeting between the two this term 3-0 in Seattle.
The Sounders have never won a piece of MLS silverware, finishing second in the Supporters’ Shield in 2011, while claiming the trophy will also see them qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League for the first time.
The penultimate round of games before the play-offs will start with Houston Dynamo taking on New England Revolution on Wednesday, with the latter still a slim hope to reel in Eastern Conference-leaders DC United.
The capital club can secure top spot on Saturday, however, when they host the East’s ninth-placed team Chicago Fire, while Sporting Kansas City can also put pressure on DC with victory at Philadelphia Union.
The Timbers will welcome Real Salt Lake to Portland knowing they must win to ensure their play-off hopes are still alive next week, as they sit just outside the West’s top five, one point behind Vancouver, who travel to San Jose Earthquakes.
Toronto FC face fellow Canadian club Montreal Impact, Colorado Rapids host Dallas and Columbus Crew visit New York Red Bulls.