The Colorado Rapids have moved into postseason position and the Seattle Sounders have regained first place in the Western Conference heading into their matchup Sunday night in Commerce City, Colo.
The unusual part is that both teams moved up without playing a game.
Major League Soccer's announcement Thursday that qualification for the playoffs will be determined by points per match has put the Rapids (5-6-4, 19 points, 1.27 points per game) into the eighth and final postseason spot. It also put the Sounders (10-4-5, 35 points, 1.84 ppg) past Sporting Kansas City (1.80) and into the conference lead.
The move came because not all Western Conference teams will play the same number of matches. The Rapids had five games postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, including an Oct. 14 trip to Seattle.
"The 22 guys in the locker room believe that we are a playoff team, now we just have to go out and show it to everybody else," Rapids forward Andre Shinyashiki said. "If we win two of the three games, we are most likely in the playoffs."
Shinyashiki scored the Rapids' lone goal in a 2-1 loss Wednesday at Minnesota United. Colorado conceded the winner on Lalas Abubakar's own goal in the 89th minute.
The defending MLS Cup champion Sounders welcomed back forward Raul Ruidiaz on Tuesday against Vancouver, and he responded with a goal and an assist in a 2-0 road victory. Ruidiaz missed the previous four matches while on international duty with Peru's national team and a 10-day quarantine because of a positive COVID-19 test.
The Sounders clinched their 12th consecutive playoff berth with Tuesday's victory.
"The reason why we've been in the playoffs for 12 straight years ... is because the players are always committed to themselves, they're committed to their teammates, they're committed to the fans, and it's that type of culture that can drive, that can be successful, that can win championships," Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said.
--Field Level Media