Week 34 of the 2018 MLS regular season is in the books, with just Decision Day presented by AT&T left in the campaign.
With two blocs of games on Sunday, there was a ton of action to keep track of. Need a crash course? We've got you covered on the biggest storylines from the penultimate weekend.
Sounders, Timbers clinch
The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers officially booked their tickets to the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, with the Sounders holding on to win 3-2 at home over the Houston Dynamo, and the Timbers blanking RSL 3-0 to capture their second straight win over the Utah side.
What's especially intriguing about the rivals reaching the postseason? They might be on a collision course in the playoffs. If the playoffs began today, Seattle would host Portland in a Knockout Round match-up. Yes, there's one more week to go, so this isn't set in stone, but there's a real possibility that a tantalizing Cascadia clash would be on tap in the postseason.
Sporting have a great week, jump to top of West
Sporting KC weren't the only team to get two wins this week (Seattle and D.C. also picked up six points) but Sporting arguably had the best week of all, winning in Vancouver on Wednesday before dunking on FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium to spoil the good vibes in Frisco after the National Soccer Hall of Fame grand opening and induction event this weekend.
Sporting haven't clinched the top spot in the West just yet, but they are in the driver's seat, two points ahead of LAFC and Dallas and three ahead of Seattle, with a Decision Day clash at home against LAFC looming. We're not quite there yet, but Sporting seem like they are peaking at just the right time.
LA Galaxy keep winning, and control their destiny
When Sigi Schmid departed the Galaxy this summer, it seemed like the Galaxy's playoff quest was effectively over. Since then, LA have been on a roll, and after defeating Minnesota United 3-1 in Minneapolis on Sunday, their destiny is in their own hands. They sit one point back with the team ahead of them, Real Salt Lake, out of games as the odd-numbered team in the league. LA have to win due RSL holding the wins tiebreaker if both teams finish level, but their Decision Day game is against a slumping Houston side gives them plenty of hope they can pull the postseason rabbit out of their hat when all is said and done.
Supporters' Shield goes down to the wire
Atlanta United and the New York Red Bulls both won on Sunday, so the Shield race will go to the final day, as Atlanta hold a one-point lead over the Red Bulls. Neither win was particularly easy, as Atlanta needed an own goal to best Chicago, while a Kaku penalty gave New York the win in Philadelphia.
Looking ahead, Atlanta will travel to Toronto on Decision Day — which could be a tricky game, but TFC were not a team with urgency in their rivalry loss to Montreal on Sunday — and New York will host Orlando City. The Lions did win in dramatic fashion on Sunday over Columbus, so you never know how it will turn out, but a trophy will be handed out on Decision Day to either the Five Stripes or Red Bulls.
Montreal, Columbus battle for final spot in East
Montreal kept their hopes alive with the aforementioned 2-0 win over Toronto at Stade Saputo, courtesy of Ignacio Piatti, and their prospects brightened with Columbus conceding a stoppage-time penalty to lose to Orlando, leaving the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference still open ahead of the final matchday.
Columbus have a two-point edge on Montreal, as Crew SC will host Minnesota next week, while the Impact will head to New England to close out their campaign. The Impact need to win and hope Columbus don't win — Montreal hold the edge in the first tiebreaker, total wins, so if the teams are level on points Remi Garde's group is in.