Daniel Salloi - Sporting KC - Celebrates
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Sporting KC face critical week in battle for first round bye

Of the seven teams that have clinched spots in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs so far, none may face a finish to the regular season as important or as daunting as Sporting Kansas City.

Coming off a tense 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy on Oct. 6, SKC now turns their attention to three final games against three clubs in the Western Conference playoff picture. A Wednesday meeting with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place looms first (10 pm ET | TSN — Full TV & streaming info), with the ‘Caps just three points off the pace for the final playoff spot.

“They’re a good team. They’re attacking, dangerous. They can surprise teams,” forward Daniel Salloi told SportingKC.com on Monday. “But as I said before, we are a better team. I think if we play our game, and we fight as we fought against LA Galaxy, we have a good chance. We’ll have to come away with points.”

Next, Sporting will head to Frisco for a Sunday matchup against first-place FC Dallas (5 pm ET | TV & streaming info). Second-place LAFC visits Children’s Mercy Park for the regular season finale on Decision Day presented by AT&T.

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“It has been difficult this year in the West,” said midfielder Roger Espinoza. “Every team has been staying right there, not too far [apart] in points.”

If SKC can climb from its current spot in third to second place in the West, they’ll avoid an appearance in the playoff Knockout Round, where they’ve been eliminated from MLS Cup contention each of the past four seasons.

A successful two-game road trip this week could set them up with an opportunity to clinch a spot in the Western Conference Semifinals when LAFC comes to town. As it stands, only four points separate the top three teams in the West.

“When we play our last game at home against LAFC, we have to have a chance to get what we want,” added Salloi. “This is why these two games are super important.”