Toronto FC will try to dodge the elimination bullet on Saturday afternoon when they visit the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field.
Victories by both the San Jose Earthquakes and Colorado Rapids, combined with a TFC loss on the weekend would put an end to Toronto’s playoff aspirations.
The Reds (8-11-7) ait fourth in the Eastern Conference with 31 points and are looking for a desperate win in Seattle to close the eight-point gap that separates them from the postseason.
The pressure the Canadian team faces could be exactly what the group needs to win on the west coast.
“As a player Seattle is a fun place to play with a great crowd,” interim coach Nick Dasovic told the club’s website. “We have got nothing to lose now so we will just have to go for it. I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Dasovic will again look to Dwayne De Rosario as the on-field leader. The captain has been the scoring star for TFC with 12 goals in the season.
He is tied for third in the Golden Boot race, two goals behind first place Edson Buttle (Los Angeles Galaxy).
Toronto, which suffered a demoralizing 3-2 loss to San Jose last weekend, has won only one of its last eight games.
And the Canadian team has a tough rival in front of them.
The Sounders (11-9-6) are tied for fifth in the Western Conference with 39 points. The squad, led by coach Sigi Schmid, is tied with the Earthquakes for the last two playoff spots.
The home team defeated C.D. Marathon 2-0 on Wednesday at the Champions League and hopes to carry the momentum against the hungry TFC.
For the Sounders, who have lost just one of their last 11 matches, the spot is not relevant, as long as the team reaches qualification.
“Our goal is to get into the playoffs,” Schmid told the Sounder’s website. “It doesn’t matter if we get into the playoffs as an eight seed, or a seven seed or a six seed.
“That doesn’t matter. It’s just to get into the playoffs and then make things happen from there.”
Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. ET from the Qwest Field in Seattle.