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Real Salt Lake 2015 playoff scenarios: It's not over yet

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Real Salt Lake's playoff hopes aren't over yet — but what could see them triumphant in a massive push in the last four games? We've mapped out a scenario.

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Real Salt Lake's playoff hopes are over.

But in equal measure, they're not even close to out. With only four games remaining in the 2015 season, it's impossible to overstate the importance of each game.

By the same token, though, it's not at all about us, and it's going to take failure from other teams for us to have a chance at making an 8th-straight playoff run.

We've talked about the statistical odds recently, and it's worth mentioning that our all-things-being-equal probability of making the post-season is down to 3.7 percent. Naturally, the loss to San Jose did not help considerations.

With all that said, let's go through and lay out what exactly has to happen for Real Salt Lake to make the playoffs now. RSL must win three of their next four games (a draw in one could be acceptable) to have a reasonable chance. Sports Club Stats puts that at a 51 percent chance.

Week 31

Colorado Rapids vs. RSL: RSL must win this one. Aside from the whole pride thing, a loss would simply make things impossible. A draw might be enough. If RSL wins, they're on 41 points.

Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City: As much as it pains me to say, we're really going to want Kansas City to triumph here. Yeah, it nearly puts them in reaching distance of the Supporters Shield, but we'll just have to get over that. If SKC wins, Portland remains on 44 points.

That would set us up nicely for the following match.

6) Portland Timbers (44; 12 wins)

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7) San Jose Earthquakes (43; 12 wins)

8) Houston Dynamo (41; 11 wins)

9) Real Salt Lake (41; 11 wins)

10) Colorado Rapids (34)

Week 32

RSL vs. Portland Timbers: We know what has to happen. There's no sense hemming and hawing now: RSL has to win.

San Jose vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: One team is fighting for the Supporters Shield, the other is fighting for the playoffs. This one will see which wins out, I guess. We really need Vancouver to pull something out here, but a draw might sustain us.

FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo: While a result for either team wouldn't knock us out, it would be simpler if we were ahead of Houston — especially because the first tiebreaker is total number of wins, and a Houston win could put us on level ground. The second is goal differential, and RSL is considerably behind there. Of course, a draw would suit us nicely, too. Let's go with that.

6) Portland Timbers (44; 12 wins)

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7) Real Salt Lake (44; 12 wins, behind on GD)

8) San Jose Earthquakes (43; 12 wins) (if 44, in 6th place)

9) Houston Dynamo (41; 11 wins) (if 44, in 7th place)

10) Colorado Rapids (34 or 37, I guess)

Week 33

Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas: RSL must win; no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers: We'll want LA Galaxy at their very best here, because Portland Timbers will be clawing their way around the playoff spot here. But can Portland manage three losses in a row? Here's hoping.

Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders: If Houston won in week 32, we'll want them to lose in week 33. There's little other option. Let's just go for a loss here regardless, shall we?

San Jose vs. Sporting Kansas City: Just like Houston above, if San Jose won the preceding week, a loss is essential here.

6) Real Salt Lake (47; 13 wins)

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7) Portland Timbers (44; 12 wins)

8) San Jose Earthquakes (43; 12 wins)

9) Houston Dynamo (41; 11 wins)

10) Colorado Rapids (between 34 and 40)

Week 34

Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake: This situation is where a draw could see us through, shockingly. Losing might make things difficult, but it wouldn't make it impossible. That depends on what happens with Portland Timbers.

Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids: Please, Colorado, don't spoil this for us if we lose to Seattle, even if we deserve it. Anything but a loss for the Rapids, and RSL is fine. And maybe it comes down to goal difference, but honestly, I'm not sure I have the nerves for that.

Other teams: Whatever, if things went according to plans above.

6) Real Salt Lake (50; 14 wins)

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7) Portland Timbers (44-47; 12-13 wins)

8) San Jose (43-46)

9) Houston Dynamo (41-44)

10) Colorado Rapids (between 34 and 43)