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Coming down to the wire: A look at the updated playoff race in the Western Conference

VANCOUVER, BC – The ‘Caps are Kings of Cascadia once again, but there’s still a lot more to play for.

Not only are the ‘Caps fighting for a playoff spot, they’re also looking to secure a berth in the 2015/2016 CONCACAF Champions League. As discussed below, it’s possible they could clinch both this weekend.

Here’s a look at how things stand with two matches remaining.

PLAYOFF RACE

After their Cascadia Cup-clinching win over Seattle Sounders FC, Whitecaps FC remain one point up on Portland Timbers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Vancouver’s magic number is now down to six, meaning any combination of points earned by the ‘Caps and dropped by the Timbers adding up to six will result in a playoff berth for the Blue and White. For example, a Whitecaps FC win over San Jose Earthquakes coupled with a Portland loss to Real Salt Lake this weekend would do the trick, but that’s just one scenario.

It’s also still possible for Vancouver to finish fourth, though that became more difficult after FC Dallas defeated LA Galaxy over the weekend. The ‘Caps trail fourth-place Dallas by five points, meaning they would need to win both of their remaining games and Dallas lose both of their remaining games to move up to fourth-place.

Here are the remaining schedules of Vancouver, Portland, and Dallas.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, October 18 (7:30 p.m. PT on TSN1)
vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday, October 25 (7 p.m. PT – tickets still available)

Portland Timbers
vs. Real Salt Lake on Friday, October 17 (7 p.m. PT on TSN2)
at FC Dallas on Saturday, October 25 (5:30 p.m. PT on MLS Live)

FC Dallas
at Colorado Rapids on Saturday, October 18 (12 p.m. PT on MLS Live)
vs. Portland Timbers on Saturday, October 25 (5:30 p.m. PT on MLS Live)

‘Caps fans will also want to keep a close eye on the upcoming home-and-home series between LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC. The winner of the fourth vs. fifth matchup in the Western Conference will meet whichever team finishes first in the conference in the conference semifinals. 

Both teams have 60 points, but Seattle has the tiebreaker with a league-high 19 wins.

Seattle Sounders FC at LA Galaxy on Sunday, October 19 (5:30 p.m. PT on TSN2)
LA Galaxy at Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, October 25 (11:30 a.m. PT on TSN2)

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

It was announced earlier this year that the Canadian MLS team with the most points at the end of the regular season will qualify for the 2015/2016 CONCACAF Champions League.

Traditionally, the winner of the Amway Canadian Championship earns that right, and that will continue to be the case in the future, but now for the following year's tournament. For example, the winner of the 2015 Canadian Championship will qualify for the following year, the 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League.

With two matches remaining, the ‘Caps are very much in the driver’s seat after opening up a six-point lead over Toronto FC – Montreal has already been eliminated from contention.

TEAM

POINTS

GAMES REMAINING

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

46

2

Toronto FC

40

2

Montreal Impact

26

2

Vancouver’s magic number is one, meaning they need just one point – or Toronto FC to drop a point – to secure their berth. The only way for Toronto to qualify at this point is to win both their games and for Whitecaps FC to lose both of theirs.

Here’s a look at Toronto’s remaining schedule:

vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday, October 18 (11 a.m. PT on TSN1)
at New England Revolution on Saturday, October 25 (4:30 p.m. PT on TSN2)

How do you see the final two weeks of the MLS regular season playing out? Let us know in the comment section below!

Participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver! 2015 Whitecaps FC Season Tickets are on sale now. In addition to Season Tickets, Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including Half-Season Packs, 5-Packs, Student Half-Season Tickets, and a Youth Soccer Half-Season Ticket. For more information on 2015 Season Tickets, visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.

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