Three Big Storylines:
- Toronto FC has a chance to clinch the Supporters’ Shield on Saturday with a home win over the New York Red Bulls (4 PM, MLS Live). TFC are riding a two match losing streak from last week when injuries finally caught up to them, but Jozy Altidore will be back along with the bulk of their defense and Sebastian Giovinco might not start but looks to be close to returning and might be available as a substitute.
- Atlanta United ended their six game home stand to open their new stadium, earning 16 points, outscoring their opponents 22-3, and clinching a playoff berth in the process. Today they travel to New England to take on a reeling Revolution. The Revs lost 6-1 in Orlando on Wednesday and look to be hard pressed to avenge their 7-0 loss in Atlanta from September 13, but they are still harboring faint playoff hopes and have an 11-2-2 home record this season.
- The Western Conference playoff picture is still as fuzzy as ever. No team has officially clinched a playoff spot heading into the weekend, and the 1 and 2 seeds that come with a bye are very much up for grabs. The Vancouver Whitecaps sit first on 48 points while the Sounders are in fourth on 47 points, with Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers wedged in between both on 47 points. Fifth and Sixth place and an away game knockout berth in the playoffs looks to be two of Real Salt Lake (41 points), FC Dallas (41), Houston Dynamo (40) or the San Jose Earthquakes (39). Minnesota United is nine points back of the playoffs on 32 points (but with a game in hand) while only the LA Galaxy and Colorado Rapids have officially been eliminated.
- Bonus 4th storyline! With the international break coming up (ESPN should have the USMNT roster announcement at halftime of the Seattle Sounders game on Sunday), all the teams that have chosen to play through the international break will make up their games in hand over the next week. Starting with Sunday, October 15, there will be 11 games each of the last two Sundays in the regular season.
From a Sounders Point of View:
The Seattle Sounders can clinch a playoff berth this weekend, so let’s do that. In order to clinch, the Sounders need one of two scenarios to play out:
1 - Sounders win over the Philadelphia Union AND Houston Dynamo lose to Minnesota United OR Real Salt Lake draw or lose vs. the LA Galaxy.
2 - Sounders draw with the Philadelphia Union AND Real Salt Lake lose to the LA Galaxy AND the San Jose Earthquakes draw or lose vs. the Portland Timbers.
Since we definitely are not cheering for the Timbers against San Jose, let’s go with Scenario 1. Come on, United (Minnesota version) and Galaxy.
After their 3-0 thrashing on Wednesday by the Sounders, the Vancouver Whitecaps have a quick turnaround and head to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday (6 PM, MLS live); let’s cheer for a combined dropped point and a DRAW.
National TV Listings:
Date/Time: Saturday, 1 PM
Philadelphia Union v Seattle Sounders
Date/Time: Sunday, 10:00 AM
Streaming: Watch ESPN
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Week 30 open gamethread. Watch with us.