The last thing Sporting Kansas City wants is to fall into the wild-card hole. Anything can happen in a one-game situation -- especially if that means traveling to Salt Lake, Dallas or Colorado.
With the right string of results this week, however -- including a win on Saturday -- Sporting could secure a top-three finish in the East and eliminate the wild-card route. (We'll get into that more on Friday.)
Here are the results you should be rooting for in tonight's MLS action.
I was wrong yesterday when I said Chicago couldn't conceivably catch KC in a worst-case scenario. Right now, with three games to play, the Fire can reach 46 points -- one more than KC's current total. A loss tonight would drop Chicago's maximum points to 43; a draw takes it to 44. Both would mean that KC would always finish above Chicago.
Also, a loss would really make the playoffs a long-shot for our "rivals." Also, don't you want a free sub tomorrow?
The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and is on Direct Kick/Match Day Live.
United have the most games in hand (4) and could reach 50 points if they win all of them. That would be bad. A draw wouldn't be the end of the world, as it would drop D.C. to a maximum of 47 total points.
A loss for D.C. combined with a loss by the Fire would make their match on Saturday an elimination match for the playoffs. (It should go without saying that it's beneficial for KC to have teams eliminated.)
Kickoff is at 9 p.m. on Direct Kick/Match Day Live.