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Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

Standings Watch: What to watch and who to root for in Week 30

The midweek slate of games brought a change in the Western Conference standings, but left the Dynamo in the same position. FC Dallas’ first win in over two months and the San Jose Earthquakes’ big loss at home to the Chicago Fire flip-flopped the teams in the standings, putting Dallas in sixth and San Jose in eighth. The Dynamo’s draw kept them in seventh place, one point behind both Dallas and fifth place Real Salt Lake.

Let’s take a look at this weekend’s matches that will play a role in the Western Conference playoff picture.

Saturday, September 30

Orlando City SC vs. FC Dallas (3 p.m. | UniMás, Facebook Live)

Dallas broke their 11-game winless streak on Wednesday, but they face a tough test on the road in Orlando. The Lions are coming off of a 6-1 win of their own, trying to keep their playoff hopes alive in the East. Root for a Dallas loss in Florida.

DAL remaining games (4): at ORL, at COL, at SEA, vs. LA

Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United FC (7:30 p.m. | TICKETS, KUBE 57, MLS Live)

A draw on Wednesday was night ideal for the Dynamo but kept them afloat going into the weekend. Wins are needed to control their own destiny in the playoff race. With three games after this against two sure-fire playoff teams, Houston needs to take advantage of the opportunity at home against the Loons.

HOU remaining games (4): vs. MIN, vs. SKC, at SKC, vs. CHI

Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8 p.m. | MLS Live)

It’s unlikely at this point that the Dynamo catch either Sporting KC (47 points) or Vancouver (48 points). These two at the top of the Western Conference table are fighting for seeding once playoffs roll around.

LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake (9:30 p.m. | MLS Live)

Hopefully their performance in Houston has given the Galaxy a spark, as the Dynamo would really welcome a win over Real Salt Lake. RSL is a point ahead of the Dynamo, but also holds the first tiebreaker (wins) over Houston at the moment (12 vs. 10).

RSL remaining games (3): at LA, at COL, vs. SKC

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers (9:30 p.m. | MLS Live)

San Jose lost at home for only the second time this year on Wednesday – a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Chicago – and the Dynamo would be more than happy with more of the same. The Quakes are just a point behind Houston with one more game played.

SJ remaining games (3): vs. POR, at VAN, vs. MIN

POR remaining games (3): at SJ, vs. DC, vs. VAN

Sunday, September 31

Philadelphia Union vs. Seattle Sounders FC (12 p.m. | ESPN)

Seattle is sitting with Sporting Kansas City and Portland on 47 points, a point behind Vancouver for the top spot. With just four games remaining it’s unlikely that the Dynamo catch any of those teams, but a Sounders loss wouldn’t hurt anything.

SEA remaining games (3): at PHI, vs. DAL, vs. COL