The Seattle Sounders have made a habit of enduring regular seasons full of ups and downs. But they have also made a habit of reaching the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. And when they're there, they know what to do.
The Sounders, who finished the 2019 MLS regular season with the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference after battling injuries, suspensions and retirements throughout the campaign, will host FC Dallas in their Round One clash on Oct. 19. And Sounders president and GM Garth Lagerwey says the Sounders have one element in spades: playoff experience.
"[What] we have going for us is that we're tried and true. This is a battle-tested team," Lagerwey told Seattle's Sports Radio 950 KJR's Sounders Weekly show on Tuesday. "We have absolutely been there and done that. We're in a position — fully and healthy — to bring our experience to bear in knockout games and I think that's a forum where we're going to hold up pretty well."
The Sounders have six players still on their roster from the group that won MLS Cup in 2016, and all of them (Nicolas Lodeiro, Stefan Frei, Cristian Roldan, Jordan Morris, Roman Torres and Joevin Jones) are still playing a key role at the end of the regular season.
And as Lagerwey explained, the Sounders have plenty of playoff experience, having won at least one playoff game every year between 2011-'18.
With the team rounding into a more healthy group, the GM thinks the depth the club has built will help push them into another deep run in the postseason, although he said the team couldn't overlook Dallas despite being heavy favorites.
"Coach [Brian] Schmetzer is going to have some tough decisions in the playoffs, and hopefully that's the case not just [in defense] but in a couple spots on the field. We think we have a good team," he said.
So do FC Dallas, who are eager to make history for their club with a strong result in Seattle: