The MLS season is approaching it's final month, and in the Western Conference many of the playoff spots are decided with the only thing left to do being to decide the order. The schedule, and the clip all four top teams are currently winning at will make for some fireworks in the month of October.
For informative purposes only, If the teams in the Western Conference continue to win at their current clip, they will finish in the following order:
|San Jose Earthquakes||68 pts|
|LA Galaxy||56 pts|
|Real Salt Lake||56 pts|
|Seattle Sounders||56 pts|
|Vancouver Whitecaps||43 pts|
|FC Dallas||41 pts|
|Colorado Rapids||34 pts|
|Portland Timbers||33 pts|
|Chivas USA||33 pts|
Is it even possible for the Galaxy, RSL, and Seattle to finish level? For LA and Salt lake, seven points would require two wins, a draw, and a loss. For Seattle with a match in hand, eight points would mean two wins, two draws and a loss. For San Jose, eight points would mean two wins and two draws.
So assume the Galaxy lose to San Jose, draw against RSL and then defeat Colorado and Seattle. RSL could defeat Chivas and Vancouver, and then lose to Seattle. Seattle, with a win over RSL and a loss to the Galaxy could draw against the Whitecaps and Dallas while defeating the Timbers.
That's all a bit complicated, but it's also within reason. Yet, things in soccer rarely fall within reason. The clips that the Galaxy, RSL, and Seattle have been winning at were without all the infighting we're going to see on the October schedule.
For what it's worth, the Sagarin Predictor would have the Galaxy lose to Seattle and San Jose, defeat Colorado and Salt Lake. However, Sagarin would also have Seattle finish with five straight victories, which I'm just going to say is impossible in MLS these days. RSL would also finish with two wins and two loses.
So what does any of this mean? I think the most important thing it points out is how important Seattle's match in hand is. The Galaxy are in second place in theory only, as Seattle won't catch up to the Galaxy in matches played until October 17th.
The Sounders get the Cascadia Cup teams, Vancouver and Portland, the next two weeks, so October 17th could decide the order our three teams finish. Even should the Galaxy lose at San Jose, it's not the time to panic. Not only to the Sounders and RSL have to play off, but the Galaxy host Seattle on the last week of the season. It's going to be a very interesting October, at the very least.