As the season opener approaches Sounders practices are competitive and festive

With the Club World Cup tournament behind them and a recent 2-1 preseason friendly win over Louisville City FC in the rearview mirror, Sounders FC has turned their attention to Sunday’s home season opener against the Colorado Rapids.

The team’s participation in the Club World Championship was a momentary distraction from the fact that the club missed the playoffs for the first time in club history. With the past behind them, the Sounders have happily taken the quest of returning to the postseason. To return to MLS elite status the Sounders are aware that hard work, determination, and execution are the bedrock of any successful season. Luck , timing and injuries always play a part but you need the first three to be in a position to weather each season’s adversities.


If the Sounders return to the MLS playoffs this year things will be a little different. Tuesday morning MLS made the following announcement via league press release:

Building on the popular single-elimination format, the 2023 MLS postseason will see the addition of a pair of single-elimination Audi MLS Cup Playoffs Wild Card matches ahead of an enhanced Round One, which now includes a Best-of-3 series.
Following Decision Day on Oct. 21, the top seven teams from each conference will automatically qualify for the Round One Best-of-3 series while the next two teams in each conference standings will qualify for a single-elimination Audi MLS Cup Playoffs Wild Card match. The winners of each Wild Card game will earn a spot in the Round One Best-of-3 series.
The expanded format will deliver even more must-win matches, as every game in the Round One Best-of-3 series will have a winner and a loser. With the addition of the Wild Card games and the Round One Best-of-3 series, the playoffs will see up to 24 must-win matches ahead of the MLS Cup presented by Audi in 2023 (compared with 12 in 2022).
All 16 teams qualifying for the Round One Best-of-3 series will earn at least one home playoff game with the higher seed hosting the first match, the lower seed hosting the second match, before returning, if necessary, to the higher seed’s venue for the final deciding game.

The Conference Semifinals, COnference Finals, and MLS Cup will continue as single winner go home competitions with the higher-seeded team hosting the game.

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