The international break has been defeated: Sent back deep to wherever it slumbers until it returns again to destroy the steady flow of an MLS season like Godzilla destroying a large metropolis or Matthew Broderick’s career. For now, though, we can rest easy.

Well, maybe not easy. Just assured that we’re going to see this season out to the end without any unnecessary interruptions. And assured that almost every single game will be incredibly stressful for somebody. Maybe everybody.

Every other game is going to get “six-pointer” status from here on out. Nearly every game will have some kind of implications for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. And things are going to get very, very weird. Don’t forget, there’s still a scenario in play in the East where there’s a 10-way tie for second place.

There are 13 games this weekend, each with varying degrees of importance, stress and potential for re-creation in the playoffs. And those are the elements we’ll be using today to assess each game’s “Playoffocity” on a scale of 0.0 to 10.0. 0.0 being Cincinnati playing Toronto and 10.0 being a Decision Day game where the loser misses the playoffs and the winner makes it. We’re not quite there yet. But we just might be soon.

Editor's Note: This column originally appeared as part of the Daily Kickoff. Sign up here to get your daily dose of MLS news, analysis and commentary delivered straight to your inbox.

0.1
New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire FC
Saturday, 7 pm ET

WATCH ON: MLS LIVE on ESPN+

Chicago
aren’t \technically\ eliminated yet. Matthew Broderick’s career as a leading man isn’t \technically\ over yet. Semantics.

In case you missed it, the Revs already clinched the East's No. 1 playoff seed and it would take a major collapse for them not to be the Shield winner.

0.6
Houston Dynamo FC vs. Seattle Sounders
Saturday, 8:30 pm ET

WATCH ON: MLS LIVE on ESPN+

Houston
aren’t technically eliminated either. But the only real impact this may have is a slight shift in the race for first place in the West. Seattle still haven’t wrapped that up yet, but with a five-point lead and a game against, ya know, Houston coming up, that’s starting to feel like a done deal.

4.1
Columbus Crew vs. Inter Miami CF
Saturday, 6 pm ET

WATCH ON: MLS LIVE on ESPN+

If both teams win out, you have to feel like they have a chance to make this interesting. Unfortunately, they play each other this weekend. So. Seems like a big blow for that scenario.

5.5
LAFC vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Saturday, 3:30 pm ET

WATCH ON: Univision, TUDN, Twitter

I think we can go ahead and call this one a Thunderdomer. One team is probably getting de facto eliminated from contention here. LAFC come in four points behind seventh-place Minnesota and San Jose are five points behind. A loss and a Minnesota win with five games left to play would make for a deficit and a number of teams to jump that probably just isn’t going to happen. I’m not exactly holding my breath on the winning team making it in either.

Which, I mean, good on LAFC for breaking another record in just their first few years in the league. “Highest expected goal differential to ever miss the playoffs” is totally in their reach here.

6.1
FC Cincinnati vs. Orlando City SC
Saturday, 7:30 pm ET

WATCH ON: MLS LIVE on ESPN+

Alright, now we’re getting into the meatiest part of the standings i.e. whatever the actual hell is going on in the East. Even with a game involving recently eliminated FC Cincinnati, Orlando’s results from here on out are going to play a crucial role in how things finally shake out.

The Lions are right in the middle of the cartoon cloud of flailing limbs and dust that is the Eastern Conference. They’re in fourth place and could end up tied for third or tied for eighth by the end of the weekend. On top of that, this one feels like a must-win. Games against Montréal, New England, Columbus, Nashville and Montréal again are coming up. None of those are guaranteed three points. This one should be. Orlando need to get the job done here.

6.5
Austin FC vs. Minnesota United
Saturday, 9 pm ET

WATCH ON: MLS LIVE on ESPN+

The Loons got hurt bad (0-1 v. Seattle, 0-4 v. SKC) but keep telling everyone they’re just fine and they didn’t really care anyway. And just when you think they might actually be telling the truth about being okay (3-0 v. LA, 2-0 v. Houston), you catch them eating a tube of cookie dough and crying in their closet (1-3 v. D.C., 0-0 v. Dallas, 1-3 v. Colorado).

It’s not exactly going great for Minnesota right now. But they do have Emanuel Reynoso. And any team with Emanuel Reynoso in the lineup has a chance to do very good things. However, Austin have taken out a couple of playoff teams lately. Having an actual striker seems to be a good idea apparently. This probably isn’t going to be comfortable for Minnesota. And with a one-point lead over eighth-place Vancouver, they’re really going to be feeling some heat to win this one.

6.7
LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers
Saturday, 10:30 pm ET

WATCH ON: MLS LIVE on ESPN+

The Timbers are a surefire playoff team at this point. In fact, they’re kind of in a weird no-man’s land the rest of the season. They’re fourth in the West with fifth place seven points behind and third place five points away. It’s hard to imagine them moving either way.

The Galaxy, however … the Galaxy are coming off the extreme caffeine kick that started their season and have now spent the last few weeks or so laying facedown on the couch complaining that “the air is too loud.” They need another boost and fast. I don’t know where it’s going to come from. Maybe they worked some things out over the break? They’re dangerously close to falling below the playoff line with a loss to Portland and remaining games against SKC, Seattle and Minnesota might just keep them there if they do.

6.8
Toronto FC vs. Atlanta United
Saturday, 7:30 pm ET

WATCH ON: TSN 4, MLS LIVE on ESPN+

Whatever the opposite of a gauntlet is starts now for Atlanta. Of their six remaining games, five come against teams below the playoff line and the one that doesn’t comes at home against a sputtering NYCFC team. They’re in eighth for now but they should feel like they’re going to come out on the other side of this in a playoff spot. If they don’t make it, they’ll only have themselves to blame. And we’ll only be able to milk just an absolute ton of content out of it so I dunno y’all I’m kind of torn here.

7.0
Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids
Saturday, 9:30 pm ET

WATCH ON: MLS LIVE on ESPN+

RSL are equal on points with the Galaxy, which means they’re part of that Western Conference group that can end up below the line this weekend. Meanwhile, the Rapids are still jostling for position atop the conference. This Rocky Mountain Cup match could be a playoff preview.

7.4
D.C. United vs. Nashville SC
Saturday, 7:30 pm ET

WATCH ON: MLS LIVE on ESPN+

Nashville are suddenly concerned about the second-place spot that seemed reserved for them a couple of weeks ago. A loss to D.C. could put them in third by the end of the weekend. And that could very well happen. I’m not sure we’re talking enough about the fact that Nashville and D.C. are two of the top-five teams in the league on expected goal differential — which makes me feel optimistic about D.C.’s chances of coming out of the clutter in the East alive. For now, though, they’re tied with two other teams for fifth. A win in what might just be the game of the week in MLS would be a major boost.

7.9
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Sporting KC
Sunday, 10 pm ET

WATCH ON: TSN 1, MLS LIVE on ESPN+

I’ve become strangely invested in the Whitecaps' playoff run. I’m not sure I can explain why. Something about the cinematic qualities of bringing in an interim manager and a new player that suddenly changes a dreary team into something pretty fun, I guess. The problem is, the montage might have happened a little too late. After getting thumped 4-1 by Seattle in their last game, they have to finish the year out with SKC, Portland, Minnesota, LAFC and Seattle again.

If they make it through all that with a playoff spot, they’re one of the best stories in MLS this year. If not, everyone forgets about their turnaround pretty quickly.

Oh, and SKC are still trying to get a Round One bye.

8.1
CF Montréal vs. Philadelphia Union
Saturday, 1 pm ET

WATCH ON: TVA Sports, TSN 5, MLS LIVE on ESPN+

A six-pointer. Kind of. Montréal can’t catch Philly this weekend but they can make the East even more cluttered. And Philadelphia wants no part of being dragged back into the mess it just seemed like they were escaping.

Meanwhile, Montréal can make sure they stay above the playoff line. They’re just one point ahead of Atlanta in the standings. With this one, we’ve got a possible playoff preview with genuine stakes for both teams. It’s a perfect way to kickstart the weekend after an international break.

8.8
New York Red Bulls vs. NYCFC
Sunday, 1 pm ET

WATCH ON: ESPN, ESPN Deportes

Uhhhhh, I don’t know if y’all noticed, but the Red Bulls can catch NYCFC this weekend. I’m not sure how it happened either. All of a sudden, the red side of New York is very, very much in the playoff race and may have a chance to help the blue-half backslide all the way out of it. Simply put: This is one of the most important Hudson River Derbies ever. And it may end up defining one of the best comebacks of the year and one of the worst fallouts.

If we had to wait an extra week to get all this, I guess it was almost worth it. Almost.