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RSL Playoff Watch after Wk 26

How is RSL doing in the playoff push, and what needs to happen this week?

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

With the win over Seattle Sounders on Saturday, Real Salt Lake temporarily jumped into 5th place in the Western Conference with 36 points, we dropped back to 6th after Portland also won their match. We’re currently on track for the MLS Playoffs, but certainly not out of danger.

Based on current home and away points per game, we would end up tied with Minnesota United on 49 points; that could put us either 6th or 7th place depending on tiebreakers (currently we would be 6th).

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

Saturday, Sept. 25th

  • Portland Timbers (5th) vs Real Salt Lake (6th) - Ideal result is to win this game, but a tie would keep us where we are. With a loss we could drop back to 7th if Minnesota wins; or 8th if Minnesota wins by a large margain and LAFC blow-out the Quakes...
  • Colorado Rapids (3rd) vs Toronto FC - Naturally we’d love Toronto to win or even a tie, but given their current form it’s about as likely as being abducted by aliens. Colorado will hopefully be a reachable target by the last RMC game.
  • San Jose Earthquakes (9th) vs Los Angeles FC (8th) - The Quakes need to step up and win this one, or at least hold LA to a tie. The angels are only 3 points behind us going into this week, but we have the better goal differential.
  • Minnesota United (7th) vs Houston Dynamo (12th) - We do not want Minnesota to win this game. A loss or tie would be the best results for us to keep them in our rear-view mirror. If they win they will either pull ahead of RSL by one point (if we lose in Portland), or equal our points (if we tie the Timbers) with RSL ahead on goal differential.

Sunday, Sept. 26th

  • Sporting Kansas City (1st) vs Seattle Sounders (2nd) - Best result would be a tie. That would keep both teams within possible striking range of RSL. A win for either would only serve to widen the gap.
  • Austin FC (13th) vs LA Galaxy (4th) - If you feel hopes and prayers help, then send them to Austin. If the Galaxy lose they would either be 3 points ahead of RSL if we lose, 2 points ahead if we tie, or one point behind us with a win. If they tie and we win, RSL would put us even on points but ahead on goal differential.

With the ideal results RSL could move into 4th place in the West and only 4 points behind the Rapids! Worst case we drop to 8th but still on the playoff bubble.

Current projected Western Conference Final Points

  1. Seattle Sounders: 65
  2. Colorado Rapids: 63
  3. Sporting Kansas City: 62
  4. LA Galaxy: 51 (leads on GD)
  5. Portland Timbers: 51
  6. Real Salt Lake: 49 (leads on GD)
  7. Minnesota United: 49
  8. Los Angeles FC: 44
  9. Vancouver Whitecaps: 42
  10. San Jose Earthquakes: 41
  11. FC Dallas: 37
  12. Houston Dynamo: 34
  13. Austin FC: 26