MLS Gamethread: Week 34

For these two teams, the playoffs have already started. - Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

The penultimate weekend

For the first time in a long while, every team has played the same number of games. Before tonight's NBCSN starter in Kansas City, everyone will be on 32 matches played. So much of the uncertainty is gone. What needs to happen is clear: Losses by KC, NY, and LA. A draw in Portland. Most of our key games are on national television, so we can watch as our Supporter's Shield hopes either reignite or sputter out. That is, if we have cable.

Friday:
5:00PM Sporting KC-DC United (NBCSN)
It may not be what NBC intended when they planned the game, but it should be an exciting matchup none the less. Kansas City has a pretty good chance of ending up at the top of the table with two remaining stinkers on their schedule.

Saturday:
11:00AM Montreal Impact-Philadelphia Union
Montreal could follow Dallas into the collapse hole and miss the playoffs for the second year. Philadelphia is tied on points and currently sitting below the red line.

11:30AM Colorado Rapids-Vancouver Whitecaps
These teams play each other twice in the final two weeks, which gives Vancouver its only chance of squeezing into  the playoffs. Winning both puts them at 51 points and Colorado with 48. They also need San Jose to lose once. I'd just as soon see the Whitecaps make it in, especially if the other two Cascadia teams are playing in the postseason. For these two, the playoffs have already started with this home and home series.

4:30PM New England Revolution-Columbus Crew
Columbus is still technically alive even now. Sure, they'd need three of Montreal, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New England to fail to get a point over the next two weeks, and they'd need to win both. Still, the club and their interim coach have a chance. The going is far easier for New England. I don't know what's going to happen at the middle for the East, but it should be fun to watch.

5:30PM Chicago Fire-Toronto FC
The Fire story is one of the best of the season. They started out in the same class as DC and Toronto, barely alive and unable to contend for much of anything. Then Mike Magee came in, and everything turned around. They are in at the moment, but they need to win a game like against Toronto to stay in.

7:00PM Portland Timbers-Real Salt Lake (Stream of the Week) (Root)
It's like high noon, and both clubs are looking to make themselves the Western leaders. If they draw, we win (assuming of course we actually win). We know RSL can do it. They've had results in Oregon before, and have been on a great run of draws. If everything goes perfectly, Seattle can at least take back the top of the West.

Sunday:
1:00PM Houston Dynamo-New York Red Bulls (Univision)
We sure are lucky that Houston is still playing for their playoff spot. They may be in third place in the East, but a loss here gives a number of other teams the chance to leap ahead of them. This means they'll be playing their asses off at home in the October Houston humidity against one of our main SS competitors.

6:00PM LA Galaxy-San Jose Earthquakes (ESPN)
Today, I am able to root for the San Jose Earthquakes. Today is also scheduled as Bigfoot's Talent Show. It is a day for unlikely things. I expect that San Jose will take the opportunity to let me down, which will only increase my dislike. Until they fail though, I'm hoping to see Lenhart antagonize Keane and get both of them red cards. The only reason I can root for San Jose is because I'm confident that Seattle can get it done Saturday. If they can't... we'd better hope the big attendance boost continues to work on the final Sunday of the regular season.

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