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Table watching: A look at the Western Conference playoff race after Week 24

It’s officially table-watching season.

Here’s a look at how things stand in the Western Conference after Week 24.

As you can see, the second-place ‘Caps are still in good shape despite falling 4-3 to Sporting Kansas City over the weekend in a game that many are calling the best of the season – for a neutral, at least.

With nine games to go, Vancouver are comfortably in a playoff position with an 11-point cushion over seventh-place Houston. They also remain very much in contention for the top spot in the West – especially if you look at their points per game rate, which is second to just SKC.

However, as Carl Robinson told reporters last week, it’s shaping up to be quite the dogfight down the stretch. While Whitecaps FC have a game in hand over first-place LA Galaxy, they’ve played more matches than both FC Dallas and SKC, who look to be a major threat. 

That’s why picking up maximum points from FC Dallas on Saturday at BC Place will be of the utmost importance (7 p.m. PT kickoff – tickets still available).

Buckle up, it’s going to be one heck of a ride.

MLS SUPPORTERS’ SHIELD RACE

D.C. United also lost in Week 24 (3-1 to New York City FC), which means Whitecaps FC still trail them by just two points in the MLS Supporters’ Shield race. The ‘Caps also have a game in hand.

PLAYOFF FORMAT

This season, the top six teams in each conference will qualify for the playoffs. The top two teams advance directly to the two-leg conference semifinal, while the remaining four teams will play a single-elimination Knockout Round match (No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5).  

So what does all this mean?

Ideally, you’d want to finish in the top two in your conference to avoid the midweek Knockout Round match and guarantee a spot in the conference semifinals – as well as a home playoff date. Finishing in the top four, however, would also get you a home playoff match.

DID YOU KNOW?

The ‘Caps have recorded 10 more points than they did after the same number of matches last season. 

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