Last night’s drama in the matches between the San Jose Earthquakes and Philadelphia Union, and between the Portland Timbers and New England Revolution gifted Dallas with all the control for their playoff destiny. FC Dallas is now in the driver’s seat for the last two matches of the season, and no longer need any outside help. Yes, Dallas absolutely still has work to do, but when it comes down to it, you wouldn’t want things any other way.
Here’s a quick look at the standings after last night:
Theoretically, Dallas could climb all the way to the 4th seed, but that would require a lot of things falling in Dallas’ favor. A 6th or 7th seed is probably what’s most realistic at this point. So here’s a breakdown of all that needs to happen, number wise to qualify for the post-season.
6 points - In
Again, very straight forward when you’re in control of your playoff destiny. With two wins, Dallas will finish with 51 points and make the playoffs.
4 points - In
With both San Jose and Portland only getting a point between the them last night, and since both teams are playing against one another on Decision Day, that means four points will be enough to qualify for the playoffs.
3 points - Maybe
Dallas can actually qualify on Sunday if they beat Colorado AND Portland loses to Sporting Kansas City.
Worst case scenario:
If Dallas loses to Colorado, AND Portland beats SKC AND San Jose beats Seattle, Dallas will no longer be in control and will need help. The standings will then look like:
6: Portland 48pts
7: San Jose 47pts
8: Dallas 45pts
Dallas obviously has to win, and then it gets weird if Portland and San Jose draw their final game and puts Dallas in a tie-breaker for 7th place (hi, 2017). Unless something changed that I’m not aware of, the first tie-breaker is “most wins”. If this scenario happens, Dallas will lose out to San Jose again (14 wins vs 13 wins).
2 or 1 point - Maybe
If Dallas only manages two draws, there’s still the possibility but will require Portland and San Jose to keep pace with them and only get 2 or fewer points too.
0 points - Most Likely Out
Should Dallas lose both of their remaining games, they’ll need San Jose to match them and lose both of their remaining games too. If that plays out, then Dallas will just get by razor thin margins. But with San Jose playing this Sunday at home, even against a good Seattle team, it seems unlikely San Jose will drop any points there.
Winning at Colorado certainly makes things a lot simpler and easier for Dallas. A draw doesn’t do too much, but certainly raises the blood pressure a little. A loss and it’s mayhem. Let’s see what Luchi has up his sleeve for this final stretch.