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Playoff scenarios provide RSL with a huge chance

Real Salt Lake can make the playoffs, but it won’t just happen on its own.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Los Angeles Galaxy Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Scenario One: RSL wins out; FC Dallas loses at least one of three

As things stand, if FC Dallas drops a match, and if we win our remaining two matches, there’s no way we don’t make the playoffs. But it’s important that we win out, because otherwise, it gets super difficult.

Scenario 1.5: FC Dallas forfeits a match, and we just need them to drop a point

  • Oct. 7 at Colorado — Colorado’s out already
  • Oct. 15 at Seattle — position-jockeying will be huge here
  • Oct. 22 vs. LA Galaxy — LA’s out, but can they play spoiler?

Scenario Two: RSL wins out, Houston drops points four points

This one seems terribly unlikely, but then you look at the schedule, and suddenly things get a little more bizarre and a little more clear at the same time.

  • Oct. 11 vs. Sporting KC
  • Oct. 15 at Sporting KC — no, this is not a typo
  • Oct. 22 vs. Chicago Fire

Scenario Three: RSL wins out; Portland, SKC or Seattle tank

What a fun season! If any of Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City, or Seattle Sounders fail to put together a point in the final two, four or two matches of their seasons, respectively, we’ll pass them, which is really something. It would truly throw gasoline on the playoff fire, so I’m going to hope for that. Hopefully SKC, although that would be a bit of a long shot. It would also rule out scenario two above.

Portland matches (both home!)

SKC matches

  • Oct. 7 at Minnesota
  • Oct. 11 at Houston
  • Oct. 15 vs. Houston
  • Oct. 22 vs. Real Salt Lake

Seattle matches (also both home...?)

  • Oct. 15 vs. FC Dallas
  • Oct. 22 vs. Colorado

Scenario Four: Other things, like not winning

I know there are things not covered here, and frankly, it’s not worth going into right now. We have a clear chance, but things aren’t quite in our hands yet. If FC Dallas is forced to forfeit, it’s a lot more clear what we have to do, and that’s simply just win.

If we don’t win, can we make it? Sure. Absolutely. But it would require San Jose and FC Dallas to not pick up points. If we do nothing but lose, we could still make it, provided they lose. We don’t control our own destiny, but we are in the front seat. Maybe we’re the passenger riding shotgun. Yeah, that.