On Sunday night the Seattle Sounders were 13 minutes away from a playoff date against Real Salt Lake. However, after leading 1-0 for nearly an hour, the Sounders conceded a 78th minute goal to LA forward Robbie Keane and the match finished tied at 1-1.
The draw kept Seattle in fourth place and set up Wednesday's Western Conference Knockout match against Colorado - the same Rapids side that the handed the Sounders a 5-1 loss on Oct. 5 in Colorado.
On the eve of the Playoff match, both teams are looking back at the last meeting with an optimistic view ahead of the single-elimination contest.
"I always think that every game has a different story," Rapids coach Oscar Pareja told ColoradoRapids.com Tuesday by phone from Seattle. "But we've had positive results against them recently, fortunately, whether in Seattle or back home."
In July Colorado ended a 10-game winless streak against Seattle with a 1-1 tie at CenturyLink Field. Three weeks ago, the Rapids scored 15 seconds into the match and were winning 4-0 at the half before the teams traded goals in the second period.
“We’ve got a bad taste in our mouth from that last game for sure," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid told SeattleSoundersfc.com on Tuesday. "We’ve got to make sure we get off to a better start. We feel that being at home is a plus for us."
Both coaches understand the implications: the winner advances, the loser goes home.
"We're going to have disposition and we realize that it's a game of do-or-die, a playoff game," Pareja said. "The players are enthused and they are optimistic because they know they've earned the right to be in the playoffs. Now they will confront the playoff game with that same responsibility."
While Colorado's players approach the game with optimism, Seattle views the match with an eye on revenge.
"It’s motivation because everybody knows what the scoreline is, and everybody was embarrassed that night," Schmid told The News Tribune. "So I think guys are motivated from that."