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What We Want to Happen Today 10/20

A look at today’s MLS action.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Sporting Kansas City Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Today is a full slate of MLS games as the season starts to come towards an end. Sporting Kansas City is off today, but the club can still clinch a playoff berth if a result goes their way. KC can clinch a playoff berth if the LA Galaxy lose to the Houston Dynamo, or Minnesota United lose or tie the Philadelphia Union, or if the Vancouver Whitecaps and Los Angeles FC both lose. So there are a number of ways for KC to clinch qualification today. Here is a look at the games today and what KC want to happen in those games.

NYCFC at Atlanta

What we want to happen: draw

Both Atlanta United and New York City FC will have four games left after their game today. Atlanta sit 10 points back of KC on 42 points while NYCFC sits on 40. A win for either team isn’t the end of the world for KC, but better to have neither team that can over take KC get all three points here.

Chicago at Cincinnati

What we want to happen: does not matter

Both teams are eliminated from playoff contention. The only question here is if FC Cincinnati can try to claw their way out of winning an unprecedented third straight Wooden Spoon for having the worst record in the league.

New England at DC

What we want to happen: New England win

Sporting trail the New England Revolution by 14 points with KC only having 15 available points. So anything more than a point the rest of the way by the Revolution eliminates Kansas City from the Supporters’ Shield race. DC United meanwhile sits 11 points behind KC on 41 points. The Shield isn’t happening for KC, better to just rip that Band-Aid off now and move on. This result would also keep a healthy gap between KC and DC.

Toronto at Miami

What we want to happen: does not matter

Neither team can catch Kansas City in the standings. Toronto FC is already eliminated from the playoffs while Inter Miami is 20 points behind KC. An argument can be made to cheer for a Miami win to keep them alive in the playoff race with three games remaining against potential playoff teams, but really this result doesn’t matter.

Montreal at Orlando

What we want to happen: draw

A case of wanting neither team to pick up all three points. CF Montreal trails KC by 11 points while Orlando City sits seven points behind KC. Another situation where KC probably want neither team to close the gap too much.

LAFC at Dallas

What we want to happen: Dallas win

The first of today’s games that could potentially help KC clinch a playoff berth today. For Los Angeles FC to catch KC they’d need to win out while KC doesn’t pick up another point. FC Dallas meanwhile is on the verge of playoff elimination sitting on 28 points. The other question here is would you want a potential playoff match against LAFC? If they hit some form in the playoffs they’ll be a tough team to face, so them dropping more points would be nice.

Philadelphia at Minnesota

What we want to happen: draw

If this result were to happen, KC would clinch their playoff berth, but this was a tough result to pick. Minnesota United trail KC by 11 points in the Western Conference, which for KC is more important in the immediate future. But the Philadelphia Union trail KC by only six in a bit more long term when looking at a potential host if the two met in MLS Cup. In this case you pick the option that lets neither team pick up all three points.

LA at Houston

What we want to happen: Houston win

The Houston Dynamo are eliminated from playoff contention, while the LA Galaxy trail KC by 10 points. This one is straight forward and this result too would clinch KC a playoff berth.

Columbus at Nashville

What we want to happen: Columbus win

The Columbus Crew can only catch KC if they win out and KC loses out. Nashville SC meanwhile can get within a point of KC with a win. So go for the Crew to close the gap a little bit to keep Nashville from getting even closer.

Seattle at Colorado

What we want to happen: draw

This may be the hardest one of these I’ve ever done. You have first and third facing off against each other with second place idle. The Seattle Sounders sit five points clear of KC while the Colorado Rapids sit only one point behind. A Seattle win makes first place in the West look extremely unlikely for Kansas City. Even a draw puts Seattle’s lead at six points. The Rapids meanwhile would leapfrog KC into second in the West if they win. If they draw the Rapids would be level on points with KC, but would still sit in third because KC win the tie breaker for most wins (15 to 14). None of these are appealing options, so we’ll go with the draw here and hope for some red cards.

Vancouver at Portland

What we want to happen: Vancouver win

The Vancouver Whitecaps sit 12 points behind KC while the Portland Timbers sit just six behind KC. I feel more comfortable with KC holding off the Whitecaps sitting nine points behind KC than KC holding off a Timbers team just three points back of KC. A draw would be slightly acceptable here, but I still lean towards a Vancouver win.

Austin at San Jose

What we want to happen: San Jose win

Austin FC is eliminated from the playoff chase while the San Jose Earthquakes cannot catch Sporting as they sit 19 points behind Sporting. In this case cheering for San Jose to keep the pressure on the teams fighting for the West playoff spots with another team still in the fight.