The Sounders are riding a club record 13-game unbeaten streak but also have failed to win a game the past month, allowing the Western Conference standings to become unusually bunched-up this late in the season
Goalkeeper Stefan Frei says people are worrying too much about all the draws the Sounders have registered of late.
The Sounders are in the midst of a club-record 13-game unbeaten streak as they hit the road Saturday night to face red-hot Real Salt Lake. At the same time, Frei’s team is winless the past month – courtesy of four consecutive draws in which they’ve combined for three goals – and starting to get caught from behind by a pack of Western Conference clubs.
“I think people are looking too much into it,’’ Frei said. “You try to fight for a win every game. Obviously, we’ve been on a bit of a run, an undefeated streak. And there are going to be draws that feel like losses.
“Particularly at home against Portland, we wanted to do better. And maybe on the road against Vancouver, it didn’t feel too good. But at the same time, going down to Dallas has been historically difficult for us. So getting a tie there is fair and probably a decent result for us.’’
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With five games to play, the Sounders at 11-7-11 and 44 points are fairly certain of a playoff spot as long as they don’t start losing a bunch of games. They sit six points above the playoff “red line’’ and remain just a point behind the Portland Timbers for top spot in the Western Conference.
The only worrisome thing of note is that all the draws of late have prevented the Sounders from pulling away in what suddenly has turned into a dogfight for conference supremacy. Eastern-leading Toronto FC has 17 points more than Portland and 18 more than the fourth-place Sounders, showing just how bunched up – some might say mediocre – the Western side is looking these days.
As a result, only six points separate the top eight teams in the conference.
RSL holds the sixth and final playoff spot, having won three of its past four and looking far more formidable than the squad beaten 1-0 by the Sounders in May. Slovak midfielder Albert Rusnak leads the team with seven goals and 12 assists, highlighting an attack that has taken off under new coach Mike Petke.
Throw in the Sounders’ 1-6-2 mark all-time at…