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Playoff Watch after Wk 34

RSL’s playoff chances took a hit.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake had what amounted to a self-inflicted wound with the loss to San Jose. We aren’t out of contention, but thanks to other results we fell to 8th. Our one game in hand is gone and we face a must-win vs Portland Timbers to even have a chance at the playoffs.

Even with a win, we still aren’t guaranteed the playoffs yet, for that we will have to win both the game vs Portland, and our final game away vs Sporting Kansas City. Win both and we’re in, win and a tie or loss and we have to rely on other results on decision day once again to save us.

So let’s take a look at the games this weekend and see what would be the best results for RSL.

RSL remains at home for the 2nd time this week vs Portland Timbers on Wednesday (tomorrow). History does favor us with 10 wins, 5 losses and 2 draws at home vs the Timbers; this year we’ve played them twice, both in Portland, and both losses. Their last win at the RioT was back in May of 2019 (a 2-1 win). That being said this is a must-win for both teams. The Timbers need the win to secure their playoff berth, RSL needs it to avoid being eliminated. While a loss vs the Timbers won’t mathematically knock us out, in all likelihood we will effectively be done.

Tuesday, Nov. 2nd

There is only one relevant game for RSL, and that plays tonight!

  • Los Angeles FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps - If both teams could arrange a tie for RSL, that would be nice. I don’t see it happening, but that would be the ideal result. Vancouver sits 2 points ahead, while the Angels sit one point behind. A win for the Whitecaps puts them in the playoffs, a win for LAFC moves them ahead of us by 2 points before we play the Timbers. A draw is our best hope here.

Standings and Games Remaining

  1. *SKC: 59 - (11/3) Away vs AUS, (11/7) Home vs RSL
  2. *SEA: 58 - (11/7) Away vs VAN
  3. *COL: 58 - (11/7) Home vs LAFC
  4. POR: 49 - (11/3) Away vs RSL, (11/7) Home vs AUS
  5. MIN: 48 - (11/7) Away vs LAG
  6. LAG: 47 - (11/7) Home vs MIN
  7. VAN: 47 - (11/2) Away vs LAFC, (11/7) Home vs SEA
  8. RSL: 45 - (11/3) Home vs POR, (11/7) Away vs SKC
  9. LAFC: 44 - (11/2) Home vs VAN, (11/7) Away vs COL
  10. SJE: 40 - (11/7) Home vs FCD
  11. FCD: 32 - (11/7) Away vs SJE
  12. HOU: 30 - (11/7) Away vs MTL
  13. AUS: 28 - (11/3) Home vs SKC, (11/7) Away vs POR

Current projected Western Conference Final Points

  1. Sporting Kansas City: 63 (top 3 guaranteed)
  2. Colorado Rapids: 61 (top 3 guaranteed)
  3. Seattle Sounders: 58 (top 3 guaranteed)
  4. Portland Timbers: 52
  5. Vancouver Whitecaps: 50 (ahead on wins and GD tiebreakers)
  6. LA Galaxy: 50
  7. Real Salt Lake: 48 (ahead on GD tiebreaker)
  8. Minnesota United: 48
  9. Los Angeles FC: 47
  10. San Jose Earthquakes: 41 (eliminated)
  11. FC Dallas: 33 (eliminated)
  12. Houston Dynamo: 30 (eliminated)
  13. Austin FC: 29 (eliminated)