As Sporting Kansas City prepare for their game on Sunday against the Los Angeles Galaxy, there will be eight MLS games taking place with most of them having some kind of effect on Sporting’s playoff chances and positioning. Here’s a look at what KC will be wanting in the games tomorrow.
Houston at NYCFC
What we want to happen - NYCFC win
This result doesn't do Kansas City much good in terms of hosting MLS Cup as it would put NYCFC 10 points clear of Kansas City before they take the field Sunday against LA, but it would leave Houston six points behind Sporting and outside the playoffs still with them having five games left.
Toronto at New England
What we want to happen - Does not matter
Toronto, while still reachable for Kansas City in the Supporters' Shield standings, may as well be out of reach for KC, a single point and Toronto goes beyond KC’s reach. New England meanwhile is seven points adrift of New York for the final playoff spot in the East with them having five games left and are nine points behind KC in the overall table. So while Toronto is catchable technically and New England can catch KC, neither is likely to happen and with that in mind this game is meaningless for KC.
San Jose at DC
What we want to happen - DC win
The Earthquakes are five points behind KC and while they've played one game more they are still close enough to KC and currently occupy the fifth seed, a road wild card spot, something that Kansas City has been trying to avoid after falling on the road the last three years in the playoffs. DC meanwhile cannot catch KC on points even if they win out, so DC taking points at home would do Sporting the most good.
Chicago at Philadelphia
What we want to happen - Philadelphia win
Chicago is four points ahead of KC on points and is still catchable given their current form. Philadelphia meanwhile sits in 10th place in the East, needing to jump over four teams to even get into the playoffs, something that looks very unlikely. With that, Sporting want the Union to get the result at home against the Fire.
New York at Columbus
What we want to happen - draw
Columbus is level on points with Kansas City on 44, but have played two more games than Sporting has at this point. New York meanwhile sit two points back. A draw here leaves one point on the table and allows both teams to get only one. If you need someone to win I'd look to Columbus because they will only have three games left after this weekend, but then you get into the conversation of points in hand vs games in hand. A win would put the Crew three points clear of Sporting heading into KC's game vs LA on Sunday.
Dallas at Minnesota
What we want to happen - Minnesota win
Dallas is in a death spiral for their season having gone nine games without a win, they now sit outside the playoffs in eighth place in the West, but level on points with sixth place Salt Lake and six points behind Sporting. Them continuing to drop points, especially to a team like Minnesota, whose maximum points is now just 47 points, is what Kansas City wants at this point to continue to put distance between themselves and the teams behind them.
Seattle at Salt Lake
What we want to happen - draw
Salt Lake sits in the sixth and final playoff spot on 38 points while Seattle sits level on points with Sporting, but in fourth place in the conference right now. Sporting really would like neither team to pick up points in this game but since that can't happen, having each only pick up a single point might be best. As with the Columbus game earlier though, if you want to pick one team to win, Salt Lake is probably the pick, because after their game tomorrow they'll have just three games left and will still be three points behind Kansas City.
Colorado at Vancouver
What we want to happen - Colorado win
Vancouver is in first place in the Western Conference, just one point ahead of first place Sporting while Colorado sits on 26 and a max point mark of 44, where Sporting currently sit. With that in mind, Colorado very likely won't be catching KC so them earning points doesn't hurt Sporting, but taking all three against Vancouver could allow Sporting to jump to the top of the West.