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Playoff Picture: SKC, Portland could inch toward securing West spots this week

The West is getting tight.

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Well! It’s Wednesday, and we’re all still feeling good about RSL’s win over LA Galaxy, right?

I thought so. I don’t mean to dampen our spirits, but I’m afraid we’re not quite in the clear. Results for

Big results last week

  • RSL 6-2 LA Galaxy — We know all about this match. It was great. LA have work to do if they want to catch up.
  • FC Dallas 4-2 Houston — the Dynamo will be losing hope now. At 28 points, they’re almost out of the running. FC Dallas put a stronger grip on first place.
  • LAFC 4-2 Toronto FC — LAFC aren’t about to be outdone by Dallas, defeating the defending champs. They’ll fight for that first place spot.
  • Seattle 3-1 Sporting KC — Seattle kept their playoff fight alive, and SKC are kept from gaining too much ground in the first-place-chase.
  • Vancouver 2-1 San Jose — Cascadia’s all fighting for spots now. The ‘Caps are still in this one as a result of this win.
  • New England 1-1 Portland — This is probably the best result that wasn’t our own.

Eliminated this week: San Jose Earthquakes

The sad horn of the week goes to San Jose, who were eliminated after a 2-1 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps. They were never going to make the playoffs, but being eliminated with seven matches remaining in the season has to sting a little bit.

Why have they been so bad? I don’t know. I’m just used to it at this point.

Coming up next in the West will be Colorado Rapids, and it’ll be some time before anyone’s eliminated in the East.

Matches to watch this week

It’s time for an international break, and you know what that means in MLS, right? Yep! It means that there will be matches played anyway. So, here you are. Here are your matches.

Saturday: Sporting Kansas City vs. Orlando City SC

Sitting on 26 games played to our 28 and 45 points to our 44, SKC has a chance to start pulling ahead in a bid for first place in the Western Conference. We’ll need them to not do that. Orlando City will want a win if they want any glimmer of hope at playoffs, as they’re 12 points out right now. It’s not looking good, though, as they’ve only won once — and drawn twice — since they beat us on May 6.

A loss for SKC — something we should always hope for — would see them stay at 45 points with 27 games played. That puts us distinctly in touching distance of them, which will become even more meaningful on Sept. 30, when we travel to Kansas City.

International call-ups

  • Sporting KC: Diego Rubio - Chile, Sept. 7 @ Japan, Sept. 11 @ South Korea
  • Sporting KC: Johnny Russell - Scotland, Sept. 7 vs. Belgium, Sept. 10 vs. Albania
  • Sporting KC: Daniel Salloi - Hungary, Sept. 8 @ Finland, Sept. 11 vs. Greece
  • Orlando City: Yoshi Yotun - Peru, Sept. 6 @ Netherlands, Sept. 9 @ Germany

Saturday: Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids

I know I talked above about Colorado being eliminated soon, but if we’re lucky, they’ll rebound from our thrashing and do us a favor. Portland are sitting on 41 points with 26 games played, so four or more points in those matches they’re behind would put them ahead of us in the playoffs.

Colorado? Well, we know a lot about Colorado, and none of it’s good. They improved as the season went on, but it’s certainly a case of too little, too late. They’ll be out soon enough, so let’s hope they just push off the inevitable a little further.

International call-ups

  • Portland Timbers: David Guzman - Costa Rica, Sept. 7 @ South Korea, Sept. 11 @ Japan
  • Portland Timbers: Alvas Powell - Jamaica, Sept. 7 vs. Ecuador, Sept. 9 vs. Cayman Islands
  • Colorado Rapids: Kellyn Acosta - USA, Sept. 7 vs. Brazil, Sept. 11 vs. Mexico

The picture

Interesting, no? We’ve been fairly steady. That surprised me.