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Ranking the Decision Day Matches

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Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

For every team in Major League Soccer the final match of the regular season is on Sunday and for a crazy number of teams their playoff seeding, or even whether they will make the playoffs, is still up in the air. All that should make for some fantastic matches, with almost every one having some sort of post season implications.

If you are reading this it stands to reason that you'll be watching the Portland Timbers host the Colorado Rapids on Sunday, but with nine other games going on, you'll need to prioritize your score checking at the half and in those frenzied seconds during late in the match goal kicks.

Let's take a look at this weekend's matches and what implications they will have, then break out the rankings to figure out which are the most intriguing.

Sunday, 2:00 p.m. PT - The Early Games

D.C. United (2) at Columbus Crew (3), FOX Soccer 1

The Red Bulls have already sewn up the top spot in the East, but there is still another bye up for grabs and it will go to the winner of this game. And, with Toronto and Montreal within striking distance as well, the loser is all but guaranteed to tumble down the standings.

New England Revolution (6) at New York City FC (8), MLS Live

NYC may not have much going for them right now other than rumors of Jason Kreis's impending departure and trying to keep the triumvirate of David Villa, Frank Lampard, and Andrea Pirlo from going into shock after being on a losing team for the first time in 30 years. The Revs, however, are still within striking distance of a home berth in the play-in round and with two teams likely to stumble above them, New England has everything to play for.

Orlando City SC (7) at Philadelphia Union (9), MLS Live

The Union might be dead in the water and playing for their jobs, but Orlando still has hope that, if the Revs manage to lose in spectacular fashion, they could sneak into the playoffs in their first year of existence. Orlando will need to score a boatload of goals in this one if they want to move above the red line, so expect them to come out guns blazing in this one. Despite the relatively low standings of these two clubs, this one seems like the dark horse candidate for game of the weekend.

Toronto FC (4) at Montreal Impact (5), MLS Live

This Canadian clash features two teams scrapping for home field advantage in the playoffs and should be particularly hard fought as Sebastian Giovinco and Didier Drogba look to lead their sides to glory. Giovinco may be the league's unofficial MVP, but Drogba has taken the helm at Montreal and steered the club from he bottom of the East back into the thick of the playoff race.

Sunday, 4:00 p.m. PT - The Late Games

LA Galaxy (2) at Sporting Kansas City (6), ESPN

The only match in the West between two playoff teams, the Galaxy are in significant danger of losing their first round bye as they go on the road -- where they have the second worst record in the Western Conference -- to face SKC. The Wiz, meanwhile, are in danger of falling out of the playoffs altogether, just three days after dropping a home result to the bottom dwelling Rapids.

New York Red Bulls (1) at Chicago Fire (10), MLS Live

This may be top versus bottom in the East, but it is also top versus bottom in the league, with the Red Bulls holding the edge over Dallas thanks to their absurd goal differential and the Fire looking up from the basement with only 30 points -- and 56 goals allowed. Still, the Red Bulls need to get the job done if they want to clinch the Supporters' Shield and avoid leaving the door open for Dallas.

Real Salt Lake (9) at Seattle Sounders (5), MLS Live

RSL's playoff hopes are dead and gone after losing twice at home in the space of one week, dropping a pair of 1-0 results to the Timbers and Dallas. The Sounders, meanwhile, have endured a nightmare slide that almost saw the side drop out of contention. Recently the Sounders have managed to put together the league's longest undefeated run, going unbeaten in their last seven; the last three of those have been draws, however, and the Sounders bare little resemblance to the side that were the early favorites for the Supporters' Shield.

Houston Dynamo (8) at Vancouver Whitecaps (3), MLS Live

Another side out of the running for a playoff spot, the Dynamo still have every chance to play the spoilers for the Whitecaps as the head north of the border to close out the season. The Dynamo might be the worst road team in the West, but the Whitecaps are the second worst home team, an astounding fact given how important home field advantage has been this year, and if any team is going to fall flat going into the playoffs it is Vancouver, who are winless in their last five and pointless in three of those.

San Jose Earthquakes (7) at FC Dallas (1), MLS Live

Finally -- albeit simultaneously -- Dallas will host the Quakes as they try to keep their Supporters' Shield hopes alive. Dallas will need the Red Bulls to stumble to make a grab for the shield as they are six goals back on goal differential, but FCD has the top place spot in the West completely in hand and will have nothing to lose by going all out for the win. The Earthquakes will also be putting everything they have on the line here as they need to win if they want to sneak into the playoffs in the West.

Ranking the Matches

My rankings from worst to best:

9. New England Revolution at New York City FC

8. Houston Dynamo at Vancouver Whitecaps

7. New York Red Bulls at Chicago Fire

6. Real Salt Lake at Seattle Sounders

5. Orlando City SC at Philadelphia Union

4. Toronto FC at Montreal Impact

3. San Jose Earthquakes at FC Dallas

2. D.C. United at Columbus Crew

1. LA Galaxy at Sporting Kansas City

Which matches are you most interested in this weekend? Share your ranking of Sunday's matches in the comments below.