"El Capitan" scenarios: How can Houston or Dallas win the 2018 Texas Derby?

The most unique rivalry "trophy" in MLS is "El Capitán," the gargantuan prize that Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas battle for in the Texas Derby.

El Capitán is a replica 18th-century mountain howitzer cannon housed by whichever club has the best head-to-head record every year. It’s currently stored in Houston, as the Dynamo have bettered FCD each of the last two seasons.

On Saturday, Dallas and Houston face each other (8 pm ET | TV & streaming info) for the final time in 2018. The first two meetings ended in 1-1 draws, with Dallas scoring first and Houston equalizing a few minutes later each time. Heading into the third Texas Derby of the season, what are the scenarios for who will win El Capitán?

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The most simple is winner-takes-all. If there's a winner this weekend in Dallas, that club controls El Capitán. Simple as that.

If Saturday night's match ends in a tie for the sixth consecutive time(!) between the rivals, well, that's when things get tricky.

The first tiebreaker is goal differential, but it would be level with three draws. The second tiebreaker is the head-to-head playoff winner should the sides meet after the regular season, which is mathematically possible, but highly improbable given the current landscape of the Western Conference. Houston (28 points) hangs in 10th place, 10 points adrift of the sixth-place LA Galaxy with nine games remaining.

The third and fourth tiebreakers, Concacaf Champions League series and U.S. Open Cup head-to-head, are irrelevant this season, as they didn't meet in either competition in 2018.

If all else fails, the final tiebreaker is such that the current holder gets to retain El Capitán, which is the Dynamo.