Standings Watch: Conference picture remains convoluted with two weeks left

Another weekend gone by, and the Eastern Conference playoff picture is still no clearer. With the Dynamo off after a midweek draw against Sporting Kansas City, the eyes of the Orange faithful were watching a few other scores from around the conference.

New England Revolution 1, Montreal Impact 0

New England came up with a big road victory to keep pace in the playoff chase, temporarily putting them in the fifth spot before the other games finished. When the dust settled on Saturday night, their 45 points were only good enough for seventh place, but it’s only a single point behind the Chicago Fire in the last playoff spot.

New England has two matches against the Columbus Crew, who were eliminated from playoff contention this weekend, to finish out the regular season.

Montreal’s loss kept them two points back of the Dynamo as they begin to make up their games in hand. Montreal has one game left to play before they are even in games played with the rest of the conference, this Wednesday against the LA Galaxy. We’ll get more into how this match affects the Dynamo’s postseason hopes further down the page.

Philadelphia Union 1, D.C. United 1

D.C. United nearly pulled out the impossible result, but instead only got the improbable thanks to Jack McInerney’s 90th minute equalizer. The draw gave Philly 46 points, tied with Montreal and Chicago, but the Union reside in sixth place by virtue of the games won tiebreaker.

Philadelphia’s road doesn’t get any easier, as they travel to Montreal before hosting Sporting Kansas City in their season finale.

Chicago Fire 3, FC Dallas 2

Chicago got the result they needed in Frisco, which pulled them into the pile-up of teams on 46 points, two behind the Dynamo. FC Dallas was eliminated in the Western Conference with the loss.

The Fire have dates against Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls to close the year.

Playing on Sunday and with a pack of three teams just two points behind them, it’s possible that the Dynamo will go into their match against the New York Red Bulls (3:00 p.m. CT; TICKETS) below the red line. Of course, it’s also possible that they will go into the match with the opportunity to punch their ticket to the playoffs, depending on Wednesday’s Galaxy vs. Impact result.

If Montreal ties or loses on Wednesday, here’s what must happen for the Dynamo to clinch a playoff spot:

  • Dynamo win vs. New York Red Bulls AND
  • Chicago tie or lose vs. Toronto FC OR
  • New England Revolution tie or lose vs. Columbus Crew

If Montreal wins in Los Angeles, the scenario changes to this:

  • Dynamo win vs. New York Red Bulls AND two of the following:
  • Philadelphia Union tie or lose vs. Montreal Impact AND/OR
  • Chicago Fire tie or lose vs. Toronto FC AND/OR
  • New England Revolution tie or lose vs. Columbus Crew

Obviously, all that the Dynamo must worry about is to continue winning and their playoff status will eventually work itself out.