With Houston's 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers last night, the Dynamo catapulted over Sporting Kansas City into second place in the Eastern Conference at 46 points. Sporting now moves to third in the East with 45 points, but are only two points ahead of the New York Red Bulls, who they take on later today.
Lose today's match, and Sporting's playoff chances could very well be in real trouble.
The Columbus Crew sit at 44 points with two matches remaining against New England, and Chicago; not exactly a daunting last two games. There's a decent chance Columbus could pick up six points.
Houston's final match is against the LA Galaxy, but it's worth noting that it will be a Galaxy squad with essentially nothing to play for, seeing as they've already clinched the Supporter's Shield, and home field throughout the playoffs. I'm not expecting most of L.A.'s best players to play much, if at all, in that game, so it's very likely that Houston will be able to collect 3 points if they can keep up their recent form.
Philadelphia, currently sitting in first place in the East with 47 points, finish out their regular season against Toronto FC, and then a huge match against New York at Red Bull Arena October 20th.
In all likelihood Sporting will probably be able to qualify for the playoffs if they can win one of their final two matches, but that's not going to be an easy task; New York is finally rounding into form, and D.C. United can be one of the more dangerous teams in the league if they're on their game. I don't feel totally confident that Sporting can go into RFK Stadium and snatch three points away.
What does it all mean? Well, that today's match against New York is a must-win, of course.
As if we haven't heard that one before.