Seattle, WA – Seattle Sounders FC and Chivas USA will square off for the third time this season when the two sides meet at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday.
The Sounders have had the better of the results in the first two meetings with wins on June 1 and July 28, which isn't surprising given the massive gap between the two sides.
Seattle is a strong bet to make the postseason as it enters the match in third place on 40 points with four games in-hand over first-place Real Salt Lake.
Chivas, for all intents and purposes, is the only Western Conference club without a realistic shot at a postseason berth. The ninth-place Goats have managed just 22 points this season, 12 points shy of the eighth-place San Jose Earthquakes and 17 points adrift of the Portland Timbers, who occupy the final playoff slot.
While Chivas did manage to end its three-match road losing streak on Sunday thanks to a 2-2 draw at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the club's winless run away from the StubHub Center was extended to 11 games.
It looked as if the Goats would come away from BC Place with all three points, but a stoppage-time equalizer from Tommy Heinemann saw their road woes prolonged, at least for a few more days.
"It's kind of a good thing that it feels like this. We would have been happy with a tie a few months ago but now we're (ticked) off that we let those points slip away and we're frustrated," said Chivas defender Carlos Bocanegra. "It's good for our team spirit, I'd rather have the two points then talk about that later but it was a bit unfortunate. We're going in the right direction."
The Sounders, meanwhile, seem to be finding their stride following the addition of Clint Dempsey. Despite failing to produce a goal through his first four games with Seattle, the addition of the United States international has helped the club claim back-to-back wins against the Portland Timbers and Columbus Crew.
Seattle's most recent victory, a 1-0 defeat of the Crew, was made all the more impressive by the fact that Leo Gonzalez was sent off in just the seventh minute. But even with 10 men, the Sounders went on to claim all three points thanks to Eddie Johnson's header from a Mauro Rosales free kick, the second consecutive match in which the duo connected for the club's lone goal.
"Good service from Mauro and Eddie is so good in the air. He's starting to get some headers for us," said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid. "He got a lot of head ball goals last year, and he's got two now in the last couple of games for us, so he's definitely a weapon in the air, that's one of the things he presents and helps us with us and the national team. He's just got to keep it going, it's great."