Victor Rodriguez opened the scoring, Will Bruin hit a brace in a three-minute stretch and Seattle guaranteed themselves a spot in the 2017 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs with a leisurely 4-0 home victory over Dallas on Sunday.
Lamar Neagle added a goal in second-half stoppage time as the defending MLS Cup champions maintained their perfect record of postseason qualification since entering the league in 2009.
Meanwhile, Dallas registered only two shots on target while losing hold of the sixth and final Western Conference playoff place. They are now even on points with the San Jose Earthquakes, who own the first tiebreak with more games won.
- 31' - SEA - Victor Rodriguez Watch
- 64' - SEA - Will Bruin Watch
- 67' - SEA - Will Bruin Watch
- 90'+2' - SEA - Lamar Neagle Watch
- SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY: The Sounders had been shutout in three of their previous four matches since losing forward Jordan Morris to a hamstring injury. But on Sunday their attack played like a team plenty of capable of filling the US international’s void. Rodriguez scored for the second time in as many starts, and Bruin’s brace marked his first goals or assists in his last 10 appearances.
- NOT A ONE-TIME THING: Dallas’ second-half swoon continues to befuddle experts, but Sunday’s loss was more of the same at CenturyLink Field. Seattle are now 8-1-1 in 10 regular season home matches against Dallas, outscoring them 27-7 in those matches. Seattle has also won home legs against Dallas in consecutive Western Conference semifinal series over the past two seasons.
- THIN IN THE MIDDLE: On the downside for Seattle, Gustav Svensson left the game in the 23rd minute with a strained left hamstring in an injury the Sounders likely can’t afford to be long-term. Seattle have been without Osvaldo Alonso this month after he strained his quad in a 3-0 win over Vancouver on Sept. 27. The versatile midfielder/defender Svensson helped Seattle endure a four-game stretch without Alonso earlier this summer.