In a different timeline, we could very well see a Toronto FC-LA Galaxy MLS Cup final match-up on tap in December. It's not out of the realm of the possible, yet, but with the homestretch of the season here, it looks like both teams could fail to even reach the MLS Cup Playoffs, let alone reach MLS Cup.
With the teams set to square off on Saturday in a huge MLS regular season clash at BMO Field (7:30 pm ET | TSN1/4 - Full TV & Streaming Info), we wonder what team our experts favor in this game – and beyond.
We got answers from Senior Editor Nicholas Rosano, New Media Editor Ben Baer, National Writer Sam Stejskal, former MLS player Bobby Warshaw, and contributors Tom Bogert, Charles Boehm and Alicia Rodriguez.
Who wins Saturday's match between Toronto FC and the LA Galaxy, and will that team make the playoffs?
WARSHAW: I respect the question, but I'm not answering. I'm refusing to have any thoughts or opinions on this game. I just want to embrace the chaos to the fullest extent.
BOGERT: The Galaxy aren't terrible on the road and TFC haven't been great at home, so, thanks in no small part to the new coach boost from the Galaxy, I'm going for a draw here. Right in line with their seasons, neither would be pleased with a draw.
Will either side make the playoffs? No. Even if there's a winner on Saturday night. We've been down this road far too often in 2018 -- I've been fooled far too often. Every time it looks like either are about to correct their basic defensive issues and allow their talent to lift them above the playoff line, they find a new way to disappoint. Fool me once, sure, fool me... 13 times? Not a 14th, as the ol' saying goes.
STEJSKAL: Despite the Kinnear bump and Toronto's serious struggles, LA won't do enough to get a result at BMO. TFC win this one, but neither team makes the postseason.
BOEHM: TFC will win, and it will not be enough to get them into the playoffs.
BAER: It’ll be a draw because that’s what these teams deserve. No.
COUCH: Toronto. Toronto doesn’t have a lot of runway to get up to speed here – a loss Saturday and I’m pretty sure they’re grounded. They’ve got the firepower to take advantage of LA’s shaky D, even with the coaching change likely to provide some temporary lift for LA. As for the playoffs, Toronto have left this dependent on other teams crashing, and it doesn’t look too promising with Philly rolling and all those D.C. home games coming up.
RODRIGUEZ: Both teams have a pretty tough schedule ahead to finish up the season and I don't think either will make the playoffs, ultimately. I'm leaning towards a draw, but will take the new manager bounce and pick a Galaxy win on Saturday.
ROSANO: I think it's a draw, and in that case no one make the playoffs. But I'll leave you with this: if the Galaxy do win this one, they'll make it.