We're getting down to the nitty, gritty part of the season as the calendar turns to October. In the Western Conference standings, only FC Dallas has mathematically secured a playoff spot, and with 3-5 games remaining across the West, it'll be a knock down, drag out fight for the final few spots.
Let's take a look at the week that was: Dallas and RSL played to a 0-0 draw, Colorado and Vancouver played to a 3-3 draw, LA dropped a 4-2 decision to the red-hot Sounders, Sporting KC pulled out a 2-1 win over the Quakes and Houston won their second straight game, 3-1 over Portland.
Here's how the table looks right now:
|#||Team||Points||Record||Games Rem.||Goal Diff.|
|1||x - FC Dallas||53||15-8-8||3||8|
|4||Real Salt Lake||45||12-10-9||3||0|
|7||Seattle Sounders FC||38||11-13-5||5||-1|
|9||San Jose Earthquakes||34||7-9-13||5||-4|
What It Means:
FCD once again had results fall their way, with Colorado drawing and LA losing at home to maintain a 5 point lead on the top spot. RSL's point in the draw with Dallas means that they will likely face a Knockout Round match to kick off the playoffs as they sit on the outside looking in for a top two seed, but it looks like they should at least be hosting that one at Rio Tinto.
Sporting KC got a much-needed win as they look to hold onto their 5th seed for the time being. Portland continued their struggles on the road, where they are winless in 2016 with 2 of their final 3 games to close out the year away from Providence Park. Seattle, with two games in-hand on both, continues to make a late run at the postseason and sits just three points back of the red line. With points in 8 of their last 9 games, Portland and SKC are feeling some pressure from the hard-charging Sounders.
As big as the 3-3 draw between Colorado and Vancouver was for FCD, it was equally as big in diminishing Vancouver's hopes for a playoff berth. Six points back with 3 games to play is a mighty steep hill to climb for Carl Robinson's side.
And San Jose needs to make the most of their final 5 games, sitting 7 points out.
Houston continues to hang around, if for nothing more than playing spoiler to any team they face, The only loss in the last 7 games for the Dynamo came at the hands of FCD, and if they were to win out, could conceivably make a bid for the final playoff spot. Regardless, the Dynamo are a team no one wants to face right now (look out Colorado, Seattle and LA).
With two head-to-head meetings against LA down the stretch, Dallas just about controls their own destiny. Colorado, with two games in-hand could threaten if they finish strong, but with one win in their last seven matches including a pair of games against both Houston and Portland, would need to flip a switch this weekend in Texas.
Wins in two of the last three for FC Dallas would all but lock up the West and the Supporters' Shield, with the Rapids needing to win 4 of their last 5 to overtake them.