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The Chase for the Playoffs: The Opposition

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PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 24: Will the TA get to see the Timbers in the playoffs? (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 24: Will the TA get to see the Timbers in the playoffs? (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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Now that we have looked at where the Portland Timbers might land if they continued the pace they are on and a look at how the Timbers will fare over the next 2 months. There is one thing we need to still talk about, the other others teams that are fighting for the same playoff spots.

Remember that Portland just needs 12 points to be in contention for the playoffs and William predicts that Portland will get 13 based on their current form. Looking at the schedules of the other teams and when we play them I really think this will be a huge possibility. More after the jump.

The Teams Portland are fighting for the last 2 playoff spots with are: New York Redbulls, Chivas USA, Sporting Kansas City, Philadelphia Union, DC United, and the Houston Dynamo. Now I know 2 of those teams are currently in the 3 spots for automatic qualifiers from the Eastern Conference but I included them because as long as Portland finishes above them in the standings they will finish above the other Eastern Conference teams and therefore gain a playoff spot.

So here are the schedules of those 6 teams:

Sporting KC

Philly

New York

10-Sep

Houston

7-Sep

New England

10-Sep

Vancouver

17-Sep

at RSL

10-Sep

Timbers

17-Sep

at FC Dallas

23-Sep

Philly

17-Sep

Columbus

21-Sep

RSL

28-Sep

Columbus

23-Sep

at KC

24-Sep

Timbers

1-Oct

at San Jose

29-Sep

DC

1-Oct

Toronto

15-Oct

Redbulls

2-Oct

at Chivas

4-Oct

Galaxy

22-Oct

at DC

8-Oct

at Seattle

15-Oct

at KC

15-Oct

Toronto

20-Oct

Philly

20-Oct at New York

Chivas

DC

Houston

10-Sep

DC

TBD

Timbers

10-Sep

at KC

17-Sep

at Chicago

10-Sep

at Chivas

14-Sep

at Columbus

21-Sep

at DC

17-Sep

at Seattle

17-Sep

San Jose

24-Sep

Toronto

21-Sep

Chivas

24-Sep

at FC Dallas

2-Oct

Philly

24-Sep

RSL

1-Oct

Chicago

16-Oct

at Galaxy

29-Sep

at Philly

14-Oct

at Timbers

22-Oct

Seattle

2-Oct

at Columbus

23-Oct

Galaxy

12-Oct

at Vancouver

15-Oct

Chicago

22-Oct

KC

Analysis:

Sporting Kansas City

Just based on their form right now I would say they are in the pole position for one of the 3 spots in the East. However the schedule is not kind with 5 out of the 7 games against currently playoff bound teams and one out of the remaining two is against a in the hunt DC united team. As long as they play just good enough they will be in.

DC United:

DC is in for a long stretch run and it is compounded even more by the fact that they now have to squeeze in the Timbers or face them with out 4 of their players, including their starting Goalie, labor day weekend. However they do have in essence 2 games that they can have a do over on since they have only played 24 games. They are a very average team and having so many games will most likely be what keeps them from the playoffs

Philadelphia Union:

Philly have been slowly sliding down in the standings since they were the top team in the East and have not been able to right the ship. They have a big chance to start to right the ship against the bottom dwellers who reside in New England. They also have a distinct advantage as 5 of their last 8 games are at home. It all comes down to if Philly can score as they are 14th in goals scored this year with only 30. If they score they win and make the playoffs.

New York:

After coming into the year as favorites to not only win the MLS cup but to run away with the Supporter's Shield, however they really have not performed well. Obviously having a decimated roster during the Gold Cup really did not help yet with all those players back they still have not been playing well. The last 5 games have gone like this: L-T-L-T-T-T. They also have only won 1 road game this season with 9 ties. However despite all the negatives New York has 6 home games compared to 2 road games. Granted 4 of their home games are against playoff contenders in the Timbers, RSL, the Galaxy and Philly. If form holds up I would venture to say New York misses the Playoffs but I am still hesitant to say it.

Chivas:

I would say Chivas is the least likely of the 7 teams to make the playoffs. Out of their 7 remaining games 5 of them are against teams above them in the standings and 2 of them are against the top 2 teams in the West. I think best case scenario is that Chivas comes away with 7 points with 2 home wins and a draw which is not enough to catch any of the teams ahead of them.

Houston:

The Timbers of the East is probably an apt description of them. They win at home and go out and lay eggs on the road. They have only gained 8 points on the road, the Timbers have only gained 6, and of their remaining games 4 of the 7 are on the road. To top it all of they have to play the Galaxy, the best road team in the league, for their final game of the season. However the Galaxy may have clinched the top seed by then and might be resting players, I wouldn't with the long layoff that could happen due to the Wild card games. I would say that Houston despite their current form does not make the playoffs or if they do it is as the 10th seed.

Portland:

What does this all mean for Portland? Well Portland has it's work cut out for them but they have one of the easier schedules compared to the other 7 teams. I see more signs that point to Portland making the playoffs over not, however they can not rely on another team doing their work for them.

Predictions:

Teams that will make the playoffs: Sporting KC, Philly, New York, Portland (I really think their schedule favors them over DC and Houston and that is the only reason they make it)

Which 4 do you think make it and why?