What is dead... may never die?
The LA Galaxy were down and out mere weeks ago, but after their second consecutive 3-0 win under interim boss Dom Kinnear, they're not done just yet with three games left in the season. According to FiveThirtyEight, the Galaxy jumped to a 30 percent probability to make their improbable climb back over the playoff line before season's end. Real Salt Lake's 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City kept the door cracked open for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co., putting RSL just two points ahead of the Galaxy.
RSL's remaining schedule may be advantageous for LA: they play the Portland Timbers twice more still and Portland are only four points ahead of the Galaxy. FiveThirtyEight's simulations still favor Portland, with an 87 pct chance to make the playoffs.
Let's check in out West. 👀 pic.twitter.com/DDTCmLSEPK— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 1, 2018
Staying in the Western Conference, Seattle Sounders' 4-0 thumping of the Colorado Rapids make them a near-lock for the playoffs after two straight losses. Seattle are just three points above the playoff line but have a game in hand over the Galaxy, Timbers and Salt Lake.
At the top of the table in the West, the top three each dropped points. LAFC lost while both FC Dallas and SKC tied, leaving the latter two still likeliest to grab first-round byes. LAFC, two points behind Kansas City and four behind Dallas, have a 29 percent probability to finish in the top two. SKC, meanwhile, have a 14 percent chance to win MLS Cup according to 538, best in the West.
As for the Eastern Conference, D.C. United signaled their intent with a 5-0 rout of the Montreal Impact. Now just two points back with two games in hand, D.C. are favorite to climb above the Impact and make the playoffs. But it's not done yet; United have a 57 percent probability while Montreal is still alive at 38 percent.
Week 31 is in the books. ✅ pic.twitter.com/9W8TMCpnPX— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 1, 2018
Toronto FC's win over New England does little for either side. Both have been presumed theoretically, if not mathematically, out, but, D.C.'s triumph at least keeps the door open. TFC (4 percent) and the Revs (2 percent) would need to be perfect to make it interesting.
At the top of the conference, the New York Red Bulls made the Supporters' Shield race interesting for the remaining three weeks of the season. They beat Atlanta United 2-0 at home without two of their best players, closing the gap to just one point. FiveThirtyEight still gives ATL the edge at 73 percent, but, it's not over yet.