The Path to the Playoffs: One Wednesday in October

Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE

Tonight's match could go a long way toward determining the shape of the playoff race in both conferences.

Important Update: If LA lose or tie this game, then the Timbers clinch a playoff spot. An LA loss or tie would limit them to 52 points, plus a game against the San Jose Earthquakes, who would be limited to 50 points plus the result of that game. Because they play each other, only one of the two teams could reach the Timbers' current 53 points, assuring the Timbers of a playoff spot in that situation.

Just one day removed from the most recent round of World Cup Qualifiers, the LA Galaxy take on the Montreal Impact tonight in a game with big playoff implications, but missing two big stars in Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan. As the only two teams with 3 games left to play, the Galaxy and Impact both post threats to the Timbers and their potential playoff seed.

So, who should Timbers fans be rooting for tonight?

Montreal Impact at LA Galaxy

Wednesday, 7:30, MLS Live

Root For: Tie Montreal (see update above)

Why? If the Galaxy win they will be even with the Seattle Sounders at 51 points from 32 games played and would be capable of catching the Timbers with a pair of wins. A win a for the Impact would put them at 49 points in 32 games played and would leave Montreal able to potentially pass the Timbers in the Supporter's Shield race. A tie, however, would leave the Timbers able to clinch a top two spot in the Western Conference while also keeping Montreal at bay.

Disagree with the my picks? Let me know in the comments. Plus, if you are going to be watching the game, feel free to discuss it here.

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