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Midweek Preview: No RSL, but seven West teams will shape playoff hopes

There’s plenty to watch on Wednesday.

MLS: FC Dallas at Minnesota United FC Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a bit funny, but Wednesday will be a massive day for Real Salt Lake’s playoff hopes. If results fall our way again — a huge if, of course — we will find ourselves far more comfortable in our last three matches than we have any business being.

Of course, that comfort is relative. We’d still have to pull off results, but it’s just that we were poor for so long, especially against our Western Conference opponents, and there should be no reason we can be remotely comfortable now. Still, here we are, and there, we might be.

FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids

I hate it when this happens. I just hate it. But Colorado Rapids have conspired to put us in this position, and here we are. I want a Colorado Rapids win. With fewer than a point per match earned, they’re nowhere even close to a playoff position. They have five games left.

FC Dallas, on the other hand, would be back above the playoff line with a win, at least temporarily — and with two, they’d be ahead of us by three points with the same number of games played. We really would like this one to go this specific way.

Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy

Again! Again. I’m here rooting for the away team, but this time, it kind of makes sense. LA Galaxy have been horrible at home. On the road, they’ve been less horrible, but only slightly better than we have. A win would place Houston ahead of us in the standings. That’s untenable. We need LA Galaxy to win. Plus, there’s little to no chance the Galaxy make the playoffs, so that’s nice, too. (That’s always nice. Always.)

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire

Isn’t the Chicago Fire turnaround remarkable? Well, it certainly will be if they win here. See, we’re only just ahead of the Quakes — two points, that’s all — and a loss would put them level on games played (finally!) and still behind us. A win, and we’re back in sixth place. That could well happen, but let’s not have any of that.

Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

I promise it’s not just pettiness, but really, a Seattle Sounders loss would be awesome. Vancouver’s in great form, and if that continues, we can catch Seattle. If Seattle manages a draw or a win, it’s nearly (but not mathematically) impossible. It really brings to light how in flux the whole Western Conference is right now, which is an interesting position to be in. It seems at first glance like the bottom two spots are up for grabs, but don’t be surprised if there are more changes than that.