As you may have read, we posted on Saturday about what MLS matches to watch this weekend with no action for the Portland Timbers. With the final match of the weekend concluding on Sunday with LAFC’s 2-0 victory over LA Galaxy, it’s time to take a look at what exactly happened and how it could affect the Timbers.
Result: MUFC wins 1-0
The result in this one was just about what most people would have expected. It looked for a while like Minnesota was headed to their fifth tie in seven games, but instead they snatched a victory with a game-winner from Aaron Schoenfeld in the 76th minute. The win gave them a valuable three points in an increasingly tight playoff race. They now hold sole possession of fifth place at 27 points.
That sets them up for a matchup with LAFC in the first round, so it doesn’t mean a ton to Portland. Nothing is certain, however; a few bad results over the next couple matches could see them drop, especially if one of those bad games happens against FC Dallas. (They sit in sixth right now.) Depending on what happens, we could very easily see this team facing off against Portland.
Result: SKC wins 4-0
I noted on Saturday that this would likely be the most important result to pay attention to and, after Sporting KC drubbed the Rapids, it’s easy to see why. The victory gave Sporting sole possession of first place in the Western Conference standings. The Timbers dropped to third. If there was any result that was going to make Portland really wish they hadn’t dropped seven points in their last three matches, it was this one.
Result: 1-1 Draw
This was one of the most interesting games to keep an eye on, mostly because both of these teams are feasible matchups for Portland in the playoffs. If the season were to end today, RSL would be on the outside looking in while Dallas would officially be Portland’s matchup. But, as everything is this year with the tight race, it’s very possible that Dallas doesn’t stay in sixth place.
Although they dropped down on Saturday, it’s also realistic for Real Salt Lake to not only move up in the standings, but even potentially overtake some teams and position themselves for a matchup against Portland (assuming the Timbers can regain momentum). A matchup against RSL personally doesn’t sound great to me, especially considering how past games have gone against them. Let’s hope RSL stays out of the picture.
Result: Vancouver wins 2-1
With the win on Saturday, Vancouver jumped to seventh in the Western Conference while San Jose dropped to eighth, although both teams are tied still at 24 points. With Portland being tied with Seattle at 32 points for second place, and only one point behind Sporting KC in first, Vancouver and San Jose could definitely be potential matchups to keep an eye on. If those two stay put in those spots and Portland moves up slightly, that would be a favorable matchup for the Timbers, as they’ve gone 3-1-0 (W-D-L) against those clubs this season.
Result: LAFC wins 2-0
LAFC took the win in this one, securing their fourth place spot while keeping the Galaxy at the bottom of the table. In what is surely one of the most lukewarm takes of the year, LAFC could be dangerous as the season nears its end. The main reason for this? The return of the reigning MLS MVP in Carlos Vela, who scored off the bench for the club in his first minutes in two months.
There’s absolutely a universe where they win their next two matches against the Houston Dynamo and San Jose, earning six points against those clubs and putting themselves in prime position going into their decision day matchup against Portland. If the Timbers don’t put together a better week than these past two, then that’s a problem. Portland needs to have a strong week now in order to fend off LAFC.
So, there’s what happened in the games that mattered if you’re a Timbers fan. Who do you want to see Portland matched up against in the playoffs? Let us know below.