We're down to just five games left in the 2014 MLS Regular Season and we've got a much clearer playoff picture in the Western Conference. Let's take a look!
1. Seattle Sounders FC
54 points(+11 GD) - 6 games remaining - Last match: 4-1 loss at New York - Next match: 9/24 at FC Dallas - Last 5: L-W-W-W-W
After their USOC triumph, the Sounders played a weakened side at New York and got thumped 4-1. They'll have one more road match on their long road trip at FCD tonight before hosting Chivas USA on the weekend. Tied with LA, but with a game in hand, this match in Dallas could go a long way to determining their Supporter's Shield fate.
2. LA Galaxy
54 points(+27 GD) - 5 games remaining - Last match: 2-1 win vs FC Dallas - Next match: 9/28 vs New York - Last 5: W-D-D-W-W
Bounced back with a late winner over FCD last weekend to pull even with Seattle at the top of the standings. A tricky home game against New York awaits them this weekend with just five games left. Two games at the end of the season against Seattle will be huge.
3. Real Salt Lake
49 points(+13 GD) - 5 games remaining - Last match: 5-1 win vs Colorado - Next match: 9/27 at Vancouver - Last 5: W-L-W-D-L
Thoroughly dominated Colorado last weekend to put a little daylight between themselves at FCD for that third playoff spot. They may still seem out of the Supporter's Shield race, but three of their last five are against Chivas USA & San Jose so don't rule out a late push from RSL.
4. FC Dallas
45 points(+10 GD) - 5 games remaining - Last match: 2-1 loss at Los Angeles - Next match: 9/24 vs Seattle - Last 5: L-W-L-L-W-W
A late loss at Los Angeles with a makeshift back four is nothing to get too concerned about and FC Dallas can all but seal their playoff spot with a win against Seattle on Wednesday night. The ten days off after the Sounders game should prove vital for FCD to get rested and healthy before a final four regular season games against Vancouver, LA, Colorado & Portland. FCD likely needs four wins from their last five to earn a top 3 playoff spot.
5. Portland Timbers FC
39 points(+4 GD) - 5 games remaining - Last match: 3-0 win vs Vancouver - Next match: 9/27 at Toronto - Last 5: W-D-D-W-L
The Timbers had to beat Vancouver on Saturday to keep their realistic playoff hopes alive, and that's exactly what they did. Their final five games are still very tough with three road games at Toronto, San Jose and Dallas with home games against San Jose and RSL, but if they can get seven points out of those they'll have a great shot at sneaking in and potentially setting up back to back games against FCD.
6. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
37 points(-3 GD) - 5 games remaining - Last match: 3-0 loss at Portland - Next match: 9/27 vs Vancouver - Last 5: L-L-W-D-L
It's a really tough look to lose two games to Portland by a combined 6-0 score in the last month. The Whitecaps are certainly in the race and have the slightly easier schedule in the last five, but man that game on Saturday doesn't leave you with a lot of confidence in Carl Robinson's side.
FC Dallas is on the precipice of qualifying for the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs and they can take a huge step towards that goal with the 3rd-to-last regular season home game tonight against Seattle Sounders FC. Here are the 10 things to know before heading to Toyota Stadium for tonight's big match:
1. Tonight's match is presented by CiCi's Pizza and the free pizza will be flying around Toyota Stadium with the first 500 people through the north gate getting some free grub from our friends at CiCi's. Check out all the details on how you can get some free delicious CiCi's Pizza.
2. Scarfing the Lamar Hunt Statue tonight will be FC Dallas star winger Fabian Castillo. Don't miss the ceremony which will start right around 7:30PM
3. Tonight's opponent is a formidable one as the Sounders are currently tops in MLS and via our match infograph, they're 17-0-0 when Obafemi Martins scores in MLS play.
4. It's beginning to feel quite a bit like fall outside and tonight's weather should be absolutely immaculate. Today's high is 87 while the low is clear and 63 degrees.
5. Saturday's match has tons of playoff implications as FCD can take another huge step to qualifying for the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs with a win. FCD's playoff magic number(combined points earned and points dropped by 6th place) is just seven points.
6. While parking is always free for everyone at Toyota Stadium, our Toyota drivers out there can enjoy FREE upgraded parking in the Camry Gold Lot tonight. The Camry Gold Lot is directly NW of the stadium adjacent to the Dr. Pink field.
9. Tonight's game is set for an 8:00PM kickoff and will be broadcast in HD locally on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel 323 as well as 100.7FM(English) & 1270AM(Spanish).
10. It should be a really nice mid-week crowd tonight, but there are still tickets available by clicking here.
Scott & Daniel break down our match against Seattle with the Toyota Keys to the Match:
SEGMENT 1: Show co-hosts Marc Stein and Steve Davis talk about Major League Soccer's decision to change its logo and review the ins and outs of Seattle's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship.
SEGMENT 2: The hosts go over a big news week in domestic soccer, including recent happenings on MLS expansion and biting criticism from two prominent names; LA Galaxy manager Bruce Arena and U.S. national team midfielder Michael Bradley.
SEGMENT 3: Former Chelsea midfielder and current ESPN FC voice Craig Burley helps Marc and Steve preview the day's big Premier League match, Chelsea vs. Manchester City.
SEGMENT 4: Another ESPN FC voice, former MLS standout and Venezuelan international Alejandro Moreno talks about Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez's early days at Real Madrid and Ronaldinho's debut in Mexico.
Our good friends over at CiCi's Pizza are the presenting partner of Wednesday's big match against Sounders FC and they want to get you filled up on delicious pizza.
CiCi's is providing pizza for the 1st 500 fans at Toyota Stadium who enter through the north gate! You'll get a voucher for a free personal pizza that can be redeemed at the CiCi's kiosk in Lamar's Tailgate on the north concourse. You can only redeem it at that one spot, so get to Wednesday's match early and enter through the north gate for some yummy pizza.
In addition, CiCi's will be surprising one lucky section with free buffet coupons and will also be sampling their new pizzas outside the north gate upon exit while supplies last so look out cause free pizza will be flying around Toyota Stadium on Wednesday(not literally...but maybe).
I'm sure a few of you are running on light sleep today with last night's midnight release of EA Sports' FIFA 15, the next edition of the wildly popular video game, while the rest of you will probably be getting it today and staying up late into Tuesday night.
Well, with the Seattle Sounders and FIFA15 cover star Clint Dempsey coming to town, we thought this would be a perfect opportunity for you to demolish Seattle ahead of us doing it on Wednesday night and even perhaps win a couple tickets to Wednesday's game!
Simply fire up FIFA15 and hop on as FC Dallas playing against Seattle Sounders FC. Tweet us a picture of the final score of you beating up on Seattle with #BeatSeattle and we will pick two random winners at noon tomorrow to receive a pair of tickets.
Picture must include #BeatSeattle and be tweeted @FCDallas to be eligible to win.
FC Dallas opened US Soccer Development Academy play on Sunday afternoon against Solar Chelsea at the Toyota Soccer Center. Here's a rundown of the results:
Solar Chelsea U-18: 1
The U-18s opened the season with a 3-1 win over their local opponents Solar Chelsea. Miguel Ojeda scored twice in the win while Jose Salas added the third goal in the win.
Solar Chelsea U-16: 1
Giovanni Montesedoca opened the scoring for FCD in the 13th minute while Toshiki Yasuda scored in the 34th and 65th minute in the victory. Isaac Albaradei rounded out the scoring in the 74th minute.
Solar Chelsea U-14: 0
The U-14s scored a shutout in their first match of the season with goalkeepers Michael Collodi & Trevor Jackson combining for the clean sheet.
Here are the best photos from Saturday's game courtesy of USA Today Sports Images:
FC Dallas suffered a narrow road loss to the LA Galaxy Saturday night. Check out the highlights below, including Blas Perez's third goal in two games and five saves by Raul Fernandez:
The 2014-2015 US Soccer Development Academy season started across the country a couple weeks ago and this weekend FC Dallas has their first matches of the season fresh off last year's U-18 national semifinal appearance.
It'll be a great contest right off the bat for FC Dallas as the U-18s, U-16s and U-14s face off against local rivals Solar Chelsea in what is always an exciting matchup.
All three games are Sunday, September 21st on Toyota Soccer Center Field #4 and admission is completely free. The U-18s kick off at 11:00AM, U-16s at 1:30PM & U-18s at 4:00PM.