As we close on the upcoming Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, each week's results are amplified and the emotional swings feel more fluid, tending toward the extreme over the everyday. Here's how Week 31's Saturday action shook out for the key players.
FC Dallas managed a scoreless away draw against the Portland Timbers, which clinched FCD the West's first playoff spot (Sporting KC joins them with a Sunday victory vs. Real Salt Lake) and left the Timbers clinging to their current hold on a Knockout Round home game. Portland now sit just one point in front of rival Seattle, who crushed Colorado by a 4-0 margin.
LAFC took a surprise L in Chicago, where instead of rising to second in the conference, the expansion club are left sitting as close to fifth (a road Knockout Round match) as they are to first (and the accordant bye).
RSL were able to extend that advantage to two points with a 1-1 draw against Sporting KC at Children's Mercy Park, denying the home side a chance to clinch a playoff berth. SKC sit one point up on LAFC for the second seed, as they look to avoid the Knockout Round.