Two weeks remain in the MLS regular season and the Houston Dynamo will have an opportunity to clinch a berth in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs this weekend to return to postseason play for the first time since 2013.
The Dynamo currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference standings with 46 points and a 12-10-10 record after Wednesday night's win over Sporting Kansas City. The top six teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. Here's are the scenarios in which the Dynamo can clinch their spot this weekend:
- Tie AND two of FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, and San Jose Earthquakes tie or lose
- Two of FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, and San Jose Earthquakes lose
Essentially, the Dynamo must finish the weekend at least four points ahead of Real Salt Lake and San Jose (currently 42 points) and/or three points ahead of FC Dallas (currently 43 points) in order to clinch on Sunday. If no clinching scenarios take place this weekend, the Dynamo will still control their own destiny going into Decision Day.
While FC Dallas could finish the year tied with the Dynamo on points if they made up the current three point gap, the Dynamo would hold the first tiebreaker (wins) in any of those scenarios, which is why Houston only needs a three-point gap between the two teams going into the final week of the season.
Here are the final matchups for all four teams:
Sunday, Oct. 15 (all games 6:30 p.m. CT)
Houston Dynamo at Sporting Kansas City
FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders FC
Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids
San Jose Earthquakes at Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Sunday, Oct. 22 (all games at 3 p.m. CT)
Houston Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire
FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy
Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Minnesota United FC