The penultimate game day of the 2020 MLS regular season is tonight as 10 teams take the field. There are two big games on the West Coast tonight that Sporting Kansas City fans will be wanting to watch closely as it will go a long way to helping determine the top three seeds in the Western Conference. Currently the Portland Timbers sit ahead of Kansas City on points per game (PPG) by just .01, 1.81 to 1.8. Behind Sporting, the Seattle Sounders sit third at 1.75 PPG. No matter the results tonight Sporting will still go into Decision Day with a chance to finish first in the West, but results tonight would certainly help Kansas City’s chances. Here’s where Sporting can finish on PPG depending on their result at Salt Lake.
36 points, 1.71 PPG
37 points, 1.76 PPG
39 points, 1.86 PPG
Here’s a look at the games tonight and what Sporting fans can root for while scoreboard watching.
Columbus at Orlando
What we want to happen: Draw
The Columbus Crew and Orlando City both currently sit with a PPG standing of 1.81, just ahead of Sporting’s 1.8 at this point. A draw by the two teams would drop their max PPG below Kansas City’s max PPG, allowing KC to host a potential MLS Cup match up against either of them if KC beats Real Salt Lake on Decision Day. A win for either team isn’t the worst thing for Kansas City either as dropping points in their final league game would also allow Kansas City to pass them.
Chicago at Minnesota
What we want to happen: Does not matter
This game won’t have any effect on Kansas City’s standing as neither team can catch Sporting. While Minnesota United can tie Sporting on PPG, they would lose the first tie breaker of wins per match (.48 for Minnesota to .52 for KC). As for potential playoff match ups, Minnesota can fall as far as sixth in the West and be as high as fourth and host a home game. The Chicago Fire meanwhile can finish with a max PPG of 1.22 and if they make the playoffs will be playing in the East’s play in games either way.
Dallas at Nashville
What we want to happen: Only matters for playoff match ups
Nashville SC can’t catch Sporting in PPG so Kansas City would host a potential MLS Cup match up between the two. With FC Dallas this game only matters in terms of playoff match ups. Dallas could still host a playoff game if things go their way with other matches, they could also fall as low as eighth in the West if results go against them. Dallas has been a tough side for Kansas City to beat recently as I mentioned in my post about their game against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, Dallas has not lost in their last five against KC and have gone 7-3-3 in the last 13, including a 3-2-2 record in Kansas City during that stretch.
Colorado at Portland
What we want to happen: Colorado win
No matter the result here Sporting will still go into Decision Day against Salt Lake with a chance to finish first in the West if they get help elsewhere. The options on Decision Day become more varied though if the Colorado Rapids can get points off of the Portland Timbers tonight in Portland. A Portland win would mean that Kansas City would need to beat Salt Lake and Portland would have to not win at Los Angeles FC on Sunday for KC to move ahead of Portland. So to keep the options open on Decision Day a Colorado win here would be in KC’s best interest.
Seattle at LA
What we want to happen: LA win
Like with Portland, Kansas City needs help to pass the Seattle Sounders. If Seattle drops points tonight, Kansas City puts their fate in their own hands as a win over Salt Lake would see them finish ahead of Seattle no matter what they do on Decision Day. Dropping points here would also allow some other opportunities to stay ahead of Seattle should KC fail to beat Salt Lake on Sunday.