After a week of only four games, MLS is back in full force with a full slate of games this weekend. Sporting Kansas City can have a playoff spot locked up before they even take the field on Sunday in Vancouver in two different scenarios. Here’s a look at this weekend’s match ups and what KC fans will want to be rooting for in those games.
Philadelphia at Montreal
What we want to happen: Montreal win
A draw is something that you could cheer for here as well, but for now we’ll go with a Montreal win. Currently the Philadelphia Union sit on 45 points, even behind Kansas City while CF Montreal sit 12 points back on 40 points. A win for Montreal would see them close the gap to nine points with only 15 points left available. Not an insurmountable total, but a total that would still be difficult to get.
San Jose at LAFC
What we want to happen: San Jose win
This is close to a result that doesn’t matter for KC as the San Jose Earthquakes can no longer catch Sporting’s point total while Los Angeles FC would need to win out while KC doesn’t pick up another point for them to catch KC. Also looking at the two teams this becomes a potential question of “if one makes the playoffs, who would you rather face.” For me right now I would rather face San Jose than LAFC.
Miami at Columbus
What we want to happen: Miami win
Like with the San Jose vs LAFC game, this one almost doesn’t matter for the same reasons. Inter Miami, sitting on 32 points can no longer catch Sporting’s point total. The Columbus Crew meanwhile can if they win out and KC lose out. Unlike the San Jose vs LAFC game though this game doesn’t have the potential first round playoff questions, pushing this one even closer to it not mattering for KC fans.
Chicago at New England
What we want to happen: Chicago win
Technically Sporting is still alive in the Supporters’ Shield race, trailing the New England Revolution by 13 points, Sporting having 18 points still available to win this season. So as unlikely as that seems combined with the fact that the Chicago Fire cannot catch KC’s point total, Sporting fans can hold onto the very slim hope that they can still win the Supporters’ Shield.
Orlando at Cincinnati
What we want to happen: Cincinnati win
Simple one here, FC Cincinnati sits on a league low 20 points and cannot catch KC while Orlando City 10 points behind Sporting on 42. So you cheer for the team that can’t catch Kansas City.
Nashville at DC
What we want to happen: DC win
Like with the Montreal and Philadelphia game mentioned earlier you can also go for a draw here. DC United currently sit 12 points behind Sporting while Nashville SC sit five points back. A win for DC closes the game to nine, but again with only 15 points left available for United. Again you do the math of expecting KC to pick up enough points, or DC dropping enough points to keep Sporting ahead of them.
Atlanta at Toronto
What we want to happen: Toronto win
Another simple one here, as Atlanta United on 39 points can still catch and pass Sporting’s current point total while Toronto FC on 25 points cannot.
Seattle at Houston
What we want to happen: Houston win
I know, cheering for the Houston Dynamo gives KC fans the creeps a bit, but if KC wants a chance at the top seed in the West, they need the Seattle Sounders to drop points. Houston can’t catch Sporting’s point total as they sit on 27 points. Seattle meanwhile is five points ahead of KC. So a Houston win combined with a KC win would cut that gap to just two points, with Seattle having a midweek game against the Colorado Rapids before welcoming KC on the 23rd.
Minnesota at Austin
What we want to happen: Austin win
This is the first of two games today that can clinch KC a playoff berth, and honestly the safer one to pick the winner that clinches KC a playoff spot. A win or a draw for Austin FC against Minnesota United will see KC clinch a playoff spot. That combined with a case of simple math as Austin on 25 points can’t catch KC while Minnesota on 38 still can makes this an easy choice.
Colorado at Salt Lake
What we want to happen: Salt Lake win
Another game where KC fans will have to swallow their pride a bit and cheer for a team they don’t like as Real Salt Lake trails KC by 13 points while the Colorado Rapids trail KC by just one. KC want to cheer for Salt Lake to close their gap to 10 points (that KC hopefully extends by to 13 on Sunday).
Portland at LA
What we want to happen: LA win
This is the second game that if the result goes one way (Portland Timbers win), KC can clinch a playoff spot. But unlike the prior opportunity with Minnesota at Austin, KC fans probably want to cheer against the result that would clinch a playoff berth. The reason for that is because the Timbers sit six points back of KC currently, while the LA Galaxy sit 13 points back. If Minnesota win their game and KC lose to Vancouver, there will be other opportunities for KC to clinch a playoff spot. Better to have the Timbers not potentially close the gap to just three points.
NYCFC at New York
What we want to happen: New York win
The only other game on Sunday other than Sporting’s game against the Vancouver Whitecaps, Sporting fans want to cheer for New York to go red. The New York Red Bulls can still technically catch KC, but combine that with a KC win and the best New York could do is tie KC’s point total. New York City FC meanwhile still trail KC by 12 points, so a win for the blue side of New York isn’t a deal breaker either, especially if KC can pull out a win. Honestly a draw isn’t bad either. This one is another one that is close to a result that doesn’t matter.