I don't write this because I like too. I'm not trying to be a wind-up artist.
I write this because it needs to be written. Even though you would like it a lot more if Sporting Kansas City were to win its next two games and make all playoff scenarios moot, it's not always that easy.Which is why you have to root for Seattle to put away Philadelphia tonight (9 p.m. on Direct Kick/Match Day Live).
It's tough, I know. Rooting for Seattle is like eating frozen yak eyeballs. You wouldn't want to do it -- unless there was no other option available.
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That's what Bear Grylls would do. Survive -- for as long as possible. For Sporting, the best way to survive in the playoffs is to play as many games as possible at Livestrong Sporting Park. The best way to do that is to clinch first place in the East. (The East winner will host the top-seeded wild card team in the second leg of a home-and-home series and then host the Eastern Conference Championship game.)
Of course KC controls its own destiny and will qualify for the playoffs if it wins the next two games. Though having just a winner in the Houston-Portland game next Fridayand
a Kansas City win over New York next Saturdaywill
clinch Sporting's playoff spot.
But Philadelphia are the only team in the East who can finish with more points (53) than KC (51) right now. A loss would drop Philly to a maximum of 50 points and if KC were to win out, well, what do you know, first place in the East.
If you can't quite get behind the idea of rooting for Seattle, there's still hope. If the Union pick up a draw Saturdayand
if Sporting/Philly wind up on 51 points atop the East, the tie-breaker would be goal differential.* Of course, the two teams are tied in that regard at +7. If it goes to the third tiebreaker (total goals), KC has a 6-goal edge.*Head-to-head is the first tiebreaker, but KC and Philly drew both times this year.
If that's still not enough and you must root against Seattle tomorrow (and, for many, that's what will likely happen), there are two more chances for Philadelphia to drop points -- Toronto on Oct. 15 (not likely) and New York on Oct. 20 (sort of likely).