When Honduran club Olimpia comes to town next month, it's going to be for all the CONCACAF Champions League marbles. And Sporting Kansas City is in control of that bag of marbles after Olimpia knicked a 1-0 win over Real Esteli on Tuesday night in Honduras.
The Kansas City Star
Kansas City needs just a win or a draw on Oct. 23 to progress to the knockout stage of the tournament.
As the table stands, Sporting KC has seven points from three games. Olimpia trails by one point after three games. Real Esteli were eliminated last week against KC and finish with just one point. (The fairly complicated head-to-head tiebreakers we discussed last week, won't have any bearing on the proceedings.)
Elsewhere in Champions League action saw the Montreal Impact defeat Guatemalan side Heredia -- but not by the six goals needed to survive. They're out, leaving the San Jose Earthquakes with a chance to advance with a win against Heredia on Oct. 23 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The remaining MLS sides Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy are both still alive in the competition and play Wednesday night. Houston will host Trinidad & Tobago's W Connection FC at BBVA Compass Stadium while the Galaxy travel to Costa Rica to face Cartagines.
Bieler, Rosell injured
According to MLSsoccer.com, two key Sporting KC players Claudio Bieler and Uri Rosell -- both of whom missed the trip to Toronto last weekend -- are injury concerns for Friday's game against Philadelphia.
Bieler, KC's top scorer with 10 goals this year, is nursing a groin strain. Rosell, the stalwart defensive midfielder who hadn't missed a game via injury this year until Saturday, has a quad strain.
Both are questionable.
Kansas City's Magic Number
One of the numbers I forgot to give out on Monday was the magic number for Kansas City to clinch a playoff spot.
It's 7. Meaning, KC needs to earn 7 more points this season over its last five games to lock down a playoff spot.*
*You achieve this number by calculating each team's maximum points possible this season. Currently, the teams in the 6th and 7th playoff spots (only five teams qualify) are Chicago and Philadelphia. Those two teams can only earn a maximum of 54 points. If Kansas City can get to 55 points (they've got a max of 63 just like New York and Montreal), they're good to go.)