Following two straight MLS Cup appearance, the Seattle Sounders headed into 2018 as a favorite once again in the West. Then the injury bug hit.
Jordan Morris out for the entire 2018 season with an ACL tear. A Seattle Sounders season preview cannot start anywhere else but that devastating news. After a stellar Rookie of the Year campaign in 2016 with 14 goals and 5 assists, Morris will now have two lost seasons, after struggling in his sophomore season.
On the bright side, the Sounders have been to two straight MLS Cup Finals, winning it all in 2016. The club returns the majority of those squads, and as has been in recent years, continues adding depth pieces over splashy names. Entering February, Seattle was noted as a contender to win the Western Conference across most pundits. Even with the loss of Morris, they are still among the top of the West, but more pressure now rests with Dempsey (how many minutes can he log in 2018?) and Bruin (can the Dancing Bear replicate last seasons’ 12 goal performance?)
Record: 14W – 11D – 9L
Finishing Position: 2nd in the Western Conference. 7th in the Overall Table.
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Fresh off winning the club’s first MLS title, the Sounders entered 2017 with basically the same team and aspirations of repeating as champions. However, much like in 2016, Seattle struggled during the first half of the campaign, winning only five times in their opening 16 matches.
In a near mirror of the previous season, as summer arrived so did Seattle’s form. Following a 2-1 loss to NYCFC on June 17th, the Sounders would only lose two more matches for the remainder of the regular season, including an impressive 13-game undefeated streak.
Seattle dispatched their Cascadia rivals, the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-0 in the Western Conference Semifinals, before easily moving past the Houston Dynamo by a 5-0 aggregate score. Once again the Sounders faced off against Toronto FC (in Toronto) for the Cup. Much like in 2016, the strong performance that got Seattle to the final wasn’t on display as they lost 2-0. Nine straight years in the playoffs, two MLS Cup final appearances in a row, a Cup win, 1 Western Conference Title, and 4 US Open Cup trophies. An impressive run for the club since joining MLS.