Today is, as they say, a big day for Real Salt Lake. It’s about much, much more than just our game against Colorado Rapids, though. In fact, there are four games to which we should pay close attention.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo
This is an interesting one: Realistically, we should be aiming for sixth place. But the unrealistic part of my brain — probably a large part of it, if we’re being honest — sees this as an opportunity. If Houston wins, and we beat Kansas City in our final game (and, of course, we beat Colorado today), we will finish ahead of them. Isn’t that incredibly appealing?
Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas
We are currently sitting behind FC Dallas, which leaves us in a precarious position. Win, and we’re still behind if Dallas manages a win, too. But with two losses, we could be ahead of Seattle. Not all is lost whatever the result, let’s just hope for the simple one: Seattle wins, Dallas loses.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. San Jose Earthquakes
San Jose is lurking right behind us in the standings, with only their horrific goal differential keeping them behind us (-22 to our -6, which is a real feat on our part.) This match is important because the implications could be significant for our playoff race if we don’t win. If we do win, this one matters a bit less. Vancouver may be aiming for a strong victory in a bid to ensure a bit more of a home field advantage should they make the MLS Cup Final.
Portland Timbers vs. D.C. United
See cases of Sporting KC and FC Dallas for this one. Any points dropped by Western Conference teams are positive for us, even if they aren’t extremely positive. Let’s see a D.C. win. It would bizarrely give us a chance to finish ahead of Portland. What a season this is.