Seattle Sounders approaching Quakes match with same ‘intensity’, despite dead rubber

The Seattle Sounders may be preparing for their first-ever dead rubber, but standards around the club haven’t dropped.

For the first time in club history, Seattle failed to make the Playoffs, tarnishing what should still be remembered as an incredibly successful season in which they became the first MLS team to win the Concacaf Champions League.

One final regular-season game remains at home to the San Jose Earthquakes, who are also eliminated from Playoffs contention.

It’s a unique position for the Sounders, who are so used to battling for post-season spots or using this final game to prepare for the first round of the Playoffs. Even so, this weekend’s match is being approached with the same intensity.

“Today’s training was tailor-made for competition, trying to up the level of intensity and competitiveness,” Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei told reporters. “It should suck when you lose. It doesn’t matter if you play well or bad. It’s the same thing that crazy good players say ‘I don’t want to lose a game of Monopoly.’

“Training is the same thing. Anything we do, we do it to win. We’re horrible Monopoly players. On the practice field here, we really need to instill that. When you’re doing it and you see your opponent is doing it too, it’s a really satisfying feeling when you come out on top.”

If nothing else, Sunday’s clash is a chance for Seattle to go out on a high, reminding supporters of the quality this team can bring – quality that helped them achieve what no other MLS club has.

“I think for the majority, they know there’s some weight to it for ourselves, everything you represent,” he added. “This game is important. Whoever is going to be on the pitch needs to be prepared.”

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