In both conferences, the race to scramble above the playoff line has nearly been run with just a few weeks left in the season. For the likes of D.C. United, Montreal Impact, LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake and the Vancouver Whitecaps, every point is vital.
This weekend, just one of those sides got the three points they so desperately craved; one earned a shoulder-shrugging "it could have been worse" draw; one sat idle with the weekend off and two came away empty handed.
How did a weekend's worth of results reconfigure FiveThirtyEight's playoff projections?
In the East, the Impact earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw against New York City FC at a sold-out Stade Saputo which dropped their playoff probability to 56 percent, down from 65 percent from a week ago. The result makes Saturday's encounter with D.C. (7 pm ET | TVAS — Full TV & streaming info) at the nation's capital all the more vital. Montreal are five points ahead of United, though have played two more games. D.C. have the more favorable schedule, so three points next weekend would tip the projections heavily in their favor.
As for the West, the Galaxy are still alive — though still face an uphill climb. A 3-0 win over the Seattle Sounders, who have now lost two straight after their historic winning streak, took them three points below the playoff line with four games left to play. FiveThirtyEight raised their probability to 20 percent, up from 9 percent the week prior.
The Sounders are still viewed as locks, with a 96 percent chance to play knockout soccer, but now have just a 4 percent chance to get a first-round bye.
The Portland Timbers and RSL also lost on the road this weekend, but both remain on track to make the playoffs. Portland, 91 percent, and RSL, 82 percent, are looking to hold off the Galaxy and Whitecaps, who took a devastating loss at home to FC Dallas. The Whitecaps' playoff probabilities have dropped to just 10 percent and face the Galaxy on Saturday (10 pm ET | TSN — Full TV & streaming info) to see who will remain alive.
At the top of the conferences, Atlanta United and the New York Red Bulls will get first-round byes. Atlanta are whopping 86 percentt favorites to lift the Supporters' Shield, though travel to Red Bull Arena on Sunday (1 pm ET | ESPN — Full TV & streaming info). In the West, Sporting KC (77 percent) and FCD (79 percent) are likely to finish top two in the conference, though LAFC have a 38 percent to crash the party.