After drawing against NYCFC on Sunday, FC Dallas ended the weekend in sixth place in an insanely competitive Western Conference. To give you some context on how insane it is, Seattle, who are currently in second place with 50 points, HAVE NOT qualified for the playoffs yet. Even more bananas, is that 11th place Sporting Kansas City (37 points) are still mathematically in the race.
So here’s a quick guide on what needs to happen for the rest of the season for Dallas to finish above the line and get into the post-season.
6 points: Win Out
Mathematically, winning the remaining two games (6 points) still will not guarantee Dallas a playoff spot. It is incredibly unlikely, but at the same time, remember 2017 and how Dallas bowed out of the playoffs on the final day by tie-breaker?
Theoretically, winning out and getting to 51 points should be enough to qualify for the playoffs. That is the simplest route right now and it helps that both teams that Dallas are both below them in the standings. These are essentially six point swings, where a win means three points for Dallas and zero points for the other team to catch up that week. Just win baby.
4 points: Draw at Colorado, Beat Sporting KC or Win at Colorado, Draw Sporing KC
This would give Dallas 49 points, which could just be enough but certainly makes things ever so complicated. This scenario means Dallas will need help, mainly from New England this Wednesday against Portland and Portland playing to a draw against Sporting Kansas City.
You’ll also like the Decision Day Match up between LAFC and Colorado on Oct 6. The complicated thing here then is how LAFC plays on Wednesday night. A win for LAFC means they’ll have won the Shield and can afford to rest their players. LAFC have also locked up the #1 seed, so they could be playing for just this Wednesday game when they take on Houston. Houston is also playing for their playoff lives on Wednesday as a loss will eliminate them.
3 points: Lose at Colorado, Beat SKC or vice versa
If that were the case, I’d it would be a toss up for a team with 48 points to make the playoffs. It would require a lot of help from San Jose and Portland at this point and for them to drop their mid week games against New England and Philadelphia respectively.
2 points: Draw at Colorado and SKC
Probably the most craziest of the scenarios, as it means San Jose and Portland would need just one win to equal 47 points and create some kind of crazy tie-breaker scenario.
So really, a lot hinges on how things play out on....
Unfortunately, what’s keeping things very complicated is the uneven scheduling for all the teams. Dallas (again) has played more games than most teams in the Western Conference. Wednesday’s midweek games will feature all eight teams (Minnesota, Sporting KC, Real Salt Lake, LA Galaxy, LAFC, Houston, Portland and San Jose), and then the entire conference will be back to normal with 32 games played.
So all eyes on the games on Wednesday. After those games, we’ll have a much clearer picture at the path ahead.