Sporting Kansas City have three different scenarios that would see them clinch a playoff berth tonight, a win combined with Salt Lake draw or loss in LA or a Houston loss at home to Minnesota, or a draw for KC combined with a loss by Salt Lake and a draw or loss by San Jose at home against Portland. All that involves KC taking care of some business at home tonight, a win and KC could (at least briefly depending on the Portland result) end the weekend at the top of the Western Conference. Here’s what to root for today for KC fans.
Dallas at Orlando
What we want to happen - Orlando win
After their win on Wednesday, Dallas is within six points of Sporting KC in the West, the gap is closing. At the same time, KC has played one fewer game. A loss tonight by Dallas combined with a KC win would mean that Dallas would only be able to tie KC on points, and KC has a 14 goal advantage in terms of goal difference, the second tie breaker after wins.
New York at Toronto
What we want to happen - Toronto win
Kansas City cannot catch Toronto in the Supporters' Shield standings, while they can tie on points, Toronto would win the first tie breaker of wins (18 to 17) if KC win out and Toronto lose out. With that in mind, the goal is to have the chance to host MLS Cup should someone take down Toronto, do to that other teams in the East need to drop points.
DC at Columbus
What we want to happen - DC win
DC is eliminated from playoff contention after their draw with New York on Wednesday, that makes this game an easy one to choose. The Crew are tied with KC on points, but will have just two games left after tonight's game meaning a loss gives KC a chance to put some distance between themselves and the Crew tonight.
Atlanta at New England
What we want to happen - New England win
Atlanta is five points in front of Kansas City, but have played one more game than Sporting, so if New England can get a win over Atlanta tonight and KC take care of their business against Atlanta, KC would be able to get ahead of Atlanta in the single table when they play their game in hand. New England will hopefully have a chip on their shoulder after the 7-0 beating Atlanta put on New England earlier this year.
NYCFC at Chicago
What we want to happen - draw
NYCFC is almost too far away from KC to realistically catch at this point of the season, but they've also played two more games than KC has at this point and sit on 55 points. The Fire are in the same position, having played 31 games, but sit on 51 points. A draw here would allow KC to pass both teams if they take advantage of their two games in hand (certainly a tall task given Kansas City's road form this season).
Minnesota at Houston
What we want to happen - Minnesota win
Houston fell back below the red playoff line in the Western Conference on Wednesday after a draw with the Galaxy, they're one point behind fifth place Salt Lake and sixth place Dallas. A loss by Houston combined with a KC win is one scenario that would see KC clinch a playoff berth this weekend as the Dynamo would be unable to catch Kansas City on points if Sporting can get the win as well.
Montreal at Colorado
What we want to happen - Montreal win
This is a hard one to pick, because I almost want to say it doesn't matter, Montreal is four points behind New York for the final playoff spot in the East, and has just three games left. A loss and Montreal may as well be eliminated from the playoffs. I'd want Montreal to stay alive for another week in terms of the playoff picture, and a win over an already eliminated Colorado would do that.
Salt Lake at LA
What we want to happen - LA win
Another game this weekend that plays a role in a Sporting KC playoff clinching scenario. A KC win combined with a Salt Lake loss or draw in LA would see KC clinch a playoff berth tonight. Salt Lake will have just two games left after tonight, so a win by KC and RSL not picking up all three points would mean that the Utah club wouldn't be able to catch KC on points.
Portland at San Jose
What we want to happen - San Jose win
While San Jose is still in the playoff race, and a San Jose loss or tie would see KC clinch a playoff berth with a draw (and a Salt Lake loss to LA), KC fans would probably rather prefer to see San Jose take all three points and not allow Portland to get any. Portland and KC are tied on 47 points currently, but Portland holds the valuable second seed and a bye to the conference semifinals because they have more wins than KC does. That said, a San Jose win won't matter if KC takes care of business against Vancouver. San Jose has just two games left after tonight and KC is eight points clear of them, so a KC win would mean that San Jose can't catch Sporting no matter their result tonight. With that in mind root for the Earthquakes to take points off the Timbers.