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The Road To The Playoffs: Two Games To Go

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Road To The Playoffs: Two Games To Go

The Portland Timbers have two games left and, despite a brutal loss to Houston on Friday, are still within striking distance of the playoffs.

The New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers, Chicago Fire, and DC United are all in competition for the final wild card playoff spot. New York have the easiest road to qualification at this point while Chicago, Portland, and D.C. will each need some results to go their way if they want to get into the postseason.

Team by team breakdowns after the jump.

New York Red Bulls

43 points, 33 games

Remaining Schedule: Philadelphia Union (H)

New York had the opportunity to clinch a berth in the playoffs last week with a win on the road over Sporting Kansas City. Luckily for everyone else they were unable to bring home any points and lost leading scorer Thierry Henry to a hotly debated red card. New York will host the Philadelphia Union for their final game of the season and will need all three points to guarantee their spot. The Union are tied for first place in the eastern conference and will want to preserve their eight game undefeated streak going into the playoffs.

New York Qualify if

-New York win

OR

-New York tie AND

-Portland win and tie

OR

-New York lose AND

-Portland lose at least one game AND

-D.C. do not win a game AND

-Chicago do not win

 

Portland Timbers

40 points, 32 games

Remaining Schedule: D.C. United (A), Real Salt Lake (A)

The Timbers face two tough road games, one against a hungry D.C. side who need a win even worse than the boys in green and the other against Real Salt Lake who have been hard to beat at Rio Tinto and will want to secure all three points in order to avoid losing their first round bye to F.C. Dallas, with whom they are now tied. With injuries to Sal Zizzo and Darlington Nagbe causing questions in the Timbers line-up, the Timbers will need to dig deep if they are to make the playoffs.

Portland qualify if

-Portland win both games AND

-New York tie or lose

OR

-Portland beat D.C. AND

-Chicago win AND

-New York lose

OR

-Portland beat Salt Lake AND

-Chicago win AND

-D.C. tie or lose to Kansas City AND

-New York lose

 

Chicago Fire

40 points, 33 games

Remaining Schedule: Columbus Crew (H)

The Fire have faced an uphill battle to get back into playoff contention. Their last minute win against D.C. over the weekend kept them alive while sending D.C.’s playoff hopes into a tailspin. However, the Columbus Crew will be no pushovers as the struggle to maintain their first round bye. If the Crew lose they risk slipping below Houston and into the wildcard berths, which should be ample motivation for them to pose a serious risk to Chicago.

Chicago qualify if

-Chicago win AND

-Portland lose or tie both games AND

-D.C. lose or tie at least one of their games AND

-New York lose AND

-Chicago beat New York on goal differential

 

D.C. United

38 points, 32 games

Remaining Schedule: Portland Timbers (H), Sporting Kansas City (H)

After looking likely to overtake everyone ahead of them in the standings, D.C. have stumbled at the worst possible time in the season. They have been hampered by injuries but not even the return of Dwayne DeRosario has been able to pull them out of their funk. While most teams would relish having their last two games at home, D.C. have struggled at RFK stadium and have lost their last four games there. The Timbers, despite their struggles on the road for much of the season, will need three points just as much as United while Kansas City are still in the middle of the struggle for first place in the east.

D.C. qualify if

-D.C. win both games AND

-New York lose

OR

-D.C. win both games AND

-New York tie AND

-D.C. beat New York on goal differential