PLAYOFF PRIMER: FC Dallas on Verge of Clinching Postseason Berth in Portland

FRISCO - FC Dallas is on the brink of clinching a postseason berth after Sunday's win in Vancouver. 

After a hectic Week 30 around the league, where several results broke FCD's way, let's get you brushed up on everything playoffs. 

MAGIC NUMBER: 56

Dallas took care of it's own business and separated itself from the Whitecaps with a six-point swing. Seattle, however, let the LA Galaxy hang around in the race, falling 3-0 on the road. A Sounders win would've cleaned up FCD's clinching scenarios for Saturday's match in Portland. 

Nonetheless, here are the six unique scenarios in which Dallas can clinch this weekend:

  • Win vs. Portland
  • Draw vs. Portland
  • Real Salt Lake lose or tie vs. Sporting KC AND LA Galaxy lose or tie vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

The only scenario where FC Dallas would not clinch this weekend is with wins from both RSL and Vancouver, coupled with an FCD loss.

BYE-ING FOR TOP TWO

While games around the playoff line went FCD's way with points dropped across the board, the fight for the coveted Knockout Round bye got even tighter. LAFC took a 2-0 win over San Jose on Saturday afternoon to, for 24 hours, overtake Dallas at the No. 2 spot. Meanwhile, Sporting KC had a 2-0 match of their own, leaving all the points in Chester as the Philadelphia Union earned the home win.

As Seattle seemed prime to make a charge up the standings, back-to-back losses on the week put a major dent in their first-round bye aspirations. Barring a screeching halt from the current top three, the Sounders are likely to be opening up the postseason in the one-and-done stage. 

Week 30 stands poised to widen the gap between the top of the West contenders and the bottom, where Dallas, SKC and LAFC could all separate themselves from the pack with four games to go. 

GAMES TO WATCH

  • Sept. 29: LAFC at Chicago Fire - While the heavy focus is on first clinching the playoffs, LAFC is just three points back of FCD sitting in third place. If Dallas drops any points the rest of the way, LAFC would need to do the same in what's shaping up to be a race to the finish for a bye.
  • Sept. 29: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids - While Seattle is looking to bounce back from a dreadful 0-for-2 week, they're still within striking distance of a top spot with the easiest remaining schedule of any West team. Dallas' allegiance is torn, though, because dropped points from the Rapids improve FCD's chances of a higher first-round pick at January's MLS SuperDraft. Dallas holds Colorado's first selection from July's Dominque Badji-Kellyn Acosta trade. 
  • Sept. 29: LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC - One of two matches that could secure an FCD playoff berth if they don't any points in Portland. 
  • Sept. 30: Sporting KC vs. Real Salt Lake - The second of two matches that could secure an FCD playoff berth if they don't get any points in Portland. Sporting KC is also nipping at Dallas' heels in the race for first, so a draw here is a positive from both ends of the spectrum. 

IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY 

Knockout Round:

  • Seattle Sounders FC at LAFC
  • Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers 

Conference Semifinals:

  • No. 1 seed: FC Dallas - Open on the road vs. lowest remaining seed
  • No. 2 seed: Sporting KC - Open on the road vs. highest remaining seed

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