What to Watch: A Look at the Western Conference Weekend Ahead

The temperatures may be dipping, but the playoff races are heating up.  With four teams within one point of the top spot and four others vying for the final two playoff berths, there is still plenty on the table with one month left until Decision Day.

Here is a look at who to watch this weekend, when it kicks off and why it’s important for Real Salt Lake’s playoff hopes. 

First: The standings

Vancouver Whitecaps FC – 13-9-6, 45 points
Portland Timbers – 12-10-8, 44 points
Sporting Kansas City – 11-6-11, 44 points
Seattle Sounders FC - 11-7-11, 44 points
San Jose Earthquakes – 11-12-6, 39 points
Real Salt Lake – 11-14-5, 38 points
Houston Dynamo – 10-10-8, 38 points
FC Dallas – 9-8-11, 38 points

Saturday

1:00 p.m. Houston Dynamo at New York City FC
Houston is winless in its last four matches and goes on the road to face a New York City FC team that is looking to get back on track after just one win in the last four matches.  With David Villa working his way back from injury, NYCFC will only get more dangerous in the attack.

5:00 p.m. San Jose Earthquakes at D.C. United
D.C. has been shut out 15 times this season and hosts San Jose in one of the final matches at historic RFK Stadium.  A three-game winning streak just two weeks ago looks like a thing of the past now and San Jose is looking for its third win in the last four matches.

6:00 p.m. FC Dallas at Minnesota United FC
FC Dallas is winless in its last nine matches and while Minnesota looked like an easy cure to a drought early in the season, the Loons are 2-1-1 in the last four matches, picking up points against Eastern Conference foes to build momentum.

8:00 p.m. Colorado Rapids at Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Vancouver went 1-0-1 in two previous meetings at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.  Unbeaten in its last six matches at 4-0-2, Vancouver has climbed to the top of the West and looks to stay there against woeful road foes in the Rapids, who are 1-11-2 away from home.

Sunday

12:00 p.m. LA Galaxy at Sporting Kansas City
Sporting is coming off of a fourth Open Cup title win in club history on Wednesday while LA was drubbed by Atlanta United.  All signs point to Kansas City extending its 23-match home unbeaten streak and LA extending its six-game road winless streak.

6:00 p.m. Orlando City SC at Portland Timbers
Real Salt Lake may have ended Portland’s four-game unbeaten streak with a 2-1 win at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, but it couldn’t slow Diego Valeri’s eight-game scoring streak.  Portland is looking for its first ever win over Orlando City – who won both previous meetings between the two clubs.

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