Forget the playoffs, Sounders now have a shot at a first-round bye

Seattle Sounders midfielder Victor Rodriguez (center) celebrates with his team after scoring a goal during the first half against FC Dallas at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.

The Sounders were hoping to merely stay in playoff contention. But now, having gone 6-0-2 their last eight matches while Western Conference contenders have stumbled, securing a first-round bye is no longer out of the question.

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