With the top spot in the Western Conference already locked up, St. Louis CITY looked to make more history on Saturday. A draw against visiting Seattle would've tied them with LAFC with the most points by an expansion team in their inaugural year. A win would’ve sent CITY further down the halls of MLS history. After Saturday's 2-0 defeat, CITY will have a week to hit the reset button before their first ever playoff game on October 29th against either Kansas City or San Jose.
City looked to jump on an early advantage when a rebound off a corner kick found its way to João Klauss from about 6 yards. The Brazilian fired high and wide, missing the best chance City would have on the night to put the visitors on notice. Instead, the miss seemed to wake Seattle up, and both teams settled into a defensive tug-of-war. City wasn’t as sharp as fans have come to expect, and Seattle took advantage of it in the 23rd minute of play.
A string of passes in the Seattle attacking third found its way to Albert Rusnak at the center of the 18-yard box, and he didn’t miss from there. Rusnak fired a left-footed shot for a 1-0 lead. St. Louis would threaten Seattle’s goal with shots on goal by Edu Löwen and Njabulo Blom, but it was the visitors again who would go on to score a second goal in the 38th minute. A Tim Parker own goal would put Seattle up 2-0 and Seattle’s defense held strong through the end of the first half and the rest of the game.
Seattle’s win secured the second seed in the West and home-field advantage on their side of the Western bracket. Seattle will play FC Dallas Monday, October 30th, to start their best-of-three series.
Meanwhile, St. Louis will have to wait for the winner of Kansas City and San Jose on Wednesday, October 25th, to know who is coming to St. Louis on Sunday. On one hand, San Jose represents a team City knows they match up well against. City beat San Jose twice this season, 3-0 at home and 2-1 away. On the other hand, City could face a very well known foe in Kansas City. St. Louis won the regular season series two games to one (St. Louis won both home games).
City will know that the regular season numbers no longer matter. Come Sunday, should it be San Jose or their “interstate” rival Kansas City, the only thing that matters is: survive and advance.