There are only two weekends left of MLS action, and the final playoff spots are looking like they may come down to the very last day, known in MLS as Decision Day. Several teams can clinch this weekend, and others who have clinched are in the mix for the Supporters Shield or important playoff seeding spots. Here is where every team in MLS stands right now and what is on the line going into Sunday's full slate of games.
New York Red Bulls: Clinched and cozy
Mathematically, the Red Bulls could catch up to the teams atop the Western Conference table and have a go at the Supporters Shield, but that seems pretty unlikely. Instead, they will be looking to maintain one of the top two spots in the East to secure a bye for the first round of the playoffs. They face a pretty beatable Columbus Crew team on Sunday so they can certainly expand on their shared lead in the East with NYCFC. Bradley Wright-Phillips, meanwhile, is tied with NYC's David Villa in the Golden Boot race and is going to try to pull away.
USA TODAY SportsAdam Hunger
New York City FC: Just as clinched and just as cozy
NYCFC are tied with the Red Bulls on 51 points in the Eastern Conference, so everything that applies to the Red Bulls applies to NYCFC. The Supporters Shield is possible but not very likely and a first-round playoff bye is in NYCFC's sights. D.C. United have everything to play for, including a playoff berth of their own, so it should be a battle on Sunday. NYCFC's David Villa is trying to pull ahead in the deadlocked Golden Boot race, so he'll surely try to pour it on.
USA TODAY SportsGreg Bartram
Toronto FC: Clinched and pushing for a playoff bye
TFC have long been clinched, but they would probably prefer to avoid the single-game knockout round that opens the MLS playoffs. They sit two points from the NY teams tied at No. 1 and they could try to push their way up the table. Against the Montreal Impact on Sunday it won't be an easy task, but if Sebastian Giovinco makes his return, TFC will have a good shot.
USA TODAY SportsKevin Sousa
Montreal Impact: Close to clinching and in control
The first three teams into the playoffs for the East are set, and the Impact will be looking to be the fourth team to get in there. A win over Toronto FC on Sunday would do it. Easier said than done, of course, because Toronto FC are a very good team, but TFC have looked a little shaky lately and haven't won in four. If Montreal do win, they can clinch and help their case to secure a hosting slot for one of the knockout games that open MLS playoffs. A loss or a draw, however, would put off clinching until the final weekend of the season unless New England can't beat Chicago, which New England should absolutely do.
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D.C. United: Close to clinching, but not in the clear
The team from the nation's capital is in solid position at fifth place, but with sixth-place Philadelphia Union only one point away and the New England Revs four points away, D.C. United are not in the clear. With a win over a very good New York City FC team on Sunday, DCU will clinch a playoff spot. But with a loss, they would be in a pretty tough battle for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. DCU do have a presumably easier game ahead next week against Orlando City, but if they don't get any points against NYCFC this week, they will be vulnerable.
USA TODAY SportsBrad Mills
Philadelphia Union: It's time to find their footing
The Union sit in that sixth and final playoff spot in the East right now, but with two more matches left to clinch, the Union are in terrible form. They are winless in their past five and if they can't secure a result this week, they could find themselves neck-and-neck with the seventh-place New England Revolution. Orlando, who the Union face Sunday, are a very beatable team, but the Revs are facing the Chicago Fire, the worst team in the league. Assuming the Revs grab all three points, which is enough to make up the current difference in the standings, the Union will need to get a result of their own. A Philly win on Sunday would allow the Union to clinch, but only if the Revs draw or lose in Chicago or Montreal lose or tie.
USA TODAY SportsDerik Hamilton
New England Revolution: It's a must-win
Realistically, the Revs have to win in Chicago to get past seventh place and into a playoff spot. If they win, they won't clinch but they can duke it out next week in their final match of the season. If they lose AND the Philadelphia get at least a draw, the Revs' season is over. Even if the Revs get a tie but Philly gets a win, they are out. Luckily for the Revs, the Fire are terrible and have been eliminated from the playoffs for some time. New England should be looking to grab all three points in Chicago against a team that is winless in six.
USA TODAY SportsJerome Miron
Columbus Crew: Freshly eliminated
On Thursday, the Columbus Crew's playoff hopes were crushed and they are now officially out of playoff contention. They drew to the Chicago Fire on Thursday after walloping the Fire in their previous game before the international break. That just about sums of the Crew season: Up-and-down and unpredictable, but not nearly good enough. They can try to spoil things for the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, or maybe they will just help Bradley Wright Phillips' secure a Golden Boot.
USA TODAY SportsJoseph Maiorana
Orlando City: Already eliminated
The Lions were eliminated from the playoffs two weeks ago. They didn't look like a playoff team all season, even after they made a midseason coaching change, so it wasn't really a surprise. But hey, on the plus side a new season starts in March and the Lions will have a brand new stadium, which already sold out of season tickets.
USA TODAY SportsJasen Vinlove
Chicago Fire: Eliminated for weeks now, close to clinching the Wooden Spoon
Yeah, we've already talked about this. The Fire were eliminated from the playoffs almost three weeks ago. But they can play for pride, or simply to avoid coming in last of the entire league. If Chicago suffer a loss or a draw, then they will clinch the Wooden Spoon, which is not an award anyone wants.
USA TODAY SportsStew Milne
Colorado Rapids: Clinched and leading the Supporters Shield race
Now let's move to the West, where the Rapids have already clinched the playoffs thanks to a red-hot start they had early in the season. They started to cool off in the second half of the season, but they are back to their winning ways, nabbing victories in their last three games. It's all about the Supporters Shield now as they currently have the most points in the league at 57, with FC Dallas just behind on 56 points. The Rapids can clinch the Supporters Shield with a win over the Portland Timbers this Sunday, which is no easy task, and if Dallas loses their game. The Timbers have had struggles of their own, but they've been solid at home.
USA TODAY SportsTim Heitman
FC Dallas: Clinched and losing ground in the Supporters Shield race
FC Dallas have pretty much been the best team in MLS this season. Not only have they been on top of the Western Conference standings for much of the year, but they won the U.S. Open Cup and have played attractive, high-quality soccer. They've long secured a playoff spot, but Colorado have inched ahead of them in the Supporters Shield standings. The Rapids also have the easier schedule to go after the Shield, with last-place Houston Dynamo ahead next week. FCD's schedule is significantly more difficult as they finish the season against the LA Galaxy and this week they will face the Seattle Sounders, who are unbeaten in their last six. The tight Shield race sets up an exciting match when FCD host the Sounders on Sunday.
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LA Galaxy: Clinched, aiming for top knockout seed
Things look comfortable for the third-place Galaxy. Are they going to catch up to FC Dallas or the Colorado Rapids? No, it's mathematically impossible. But they can hold onto the top seed for the first round of MLS playoffs if they stay in third place. That top seed is worth staying at home to host the knockout match. The Galaxy face the last-place Houston Dynamo on Sunday, which will be a great opportunity to secure three points and keep fourth-place Seattle Sounders from catching up to them.
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Seattle Sounders: Fighting for a playoff spot to cap off stunning turnaround
The Sounders will surely be kicking themselves for their lackluster draw against the last-place Houston Dynamo on Wednesday. They could've clinched a playoff spot with a win, and now instead they have go to Dallas to face one of the best and most consistent teams in the league to try to get a win. And they have to do it without Osvaldo Alonso (red card) and Andreas Ivanschitz (injury). A win, if they can do it, would secure a playoff spot for the Sounders and would cap off a stunning turnaround that saw them in second-last place just two and a half months ago.
USA TODAY SportsJennifer Buchanan
Real Salt Lake: A win would clinch, but a loss could be worrisome
RSL can clinch a playoff spot if they beat Sporting Kansas City on Sunday (and that result would have the side effect of helping the Portland Timbers out quite a bit, too). If RSL lose and the Timbers get a result on Sunday, suddenly RSL will be looking very vulnerable to being knocked below the red line. If Kansas City win, they would leapfrog RSL and, if Portland won their match too, the Timbers would be in prime position to leapfrog RSL next week. So in other words, Real Salt Lake really can't afford to lose their match on Sunday.
Getty ImagesMitchell Leff
Sporting Kansas City: Still in the playoff fight, but vulnerable
SKC sit in sixth place and in the final Western Conference playoff spot, but just barely. They are only two points ahead of the Portland Timbers and are very vulnerable. Sporting are fortunate that the Timbers have a couple tough games ahead to finish out the season, but if SKC don't win on Sunday, their playoff hopes are no longer in their control and it will depend on what the Timbers can do. If they win and Portland or Seattle lose, they can clinch, but it's easier said than done.
USA TODAY SportsBrace Hemmelgarn
Portland Timbers: It's do or die
The Timbers are in a tough spot trying to clinch. It's not an impossible situation, but the Timbers are going to need to look better than they have all season to do it. They have to try to get a win against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday, and the Rapids are the No. 1 team in the league. The Timbers do have a strong record at home, so there's a bit of cause for optimism. If they draw instead, then they will have to try to get their first road win of the entire season next week in 17 tries. It would be against a Vancouver Whitecaps team that hasn't been great and are a short road trip away, so that's more cause for optimism. But the Timbers haven't looked great and a loss on Sunday would eliminate them if Sporting KC win.
USA TODAY SportsTroy Taormina
San Jose Earthquakes: Freshly eliminated
The Rapids beat the Quakes on Thursday, and that was it for San Jose's postseason hopes. Now, they will have to look ahead to next year, where Dom Kinnear is expected to return as coach, despite a pretty rocky 2016 season. They do have a rather meaningless match on Sunday (let's be honest) against the already-eliminated Vancouver Whitecaps. But the Quakes can try to play the spoiler against Sporting Kansas City next week.
USA TODAY SportsEric Bolte
Vancouver Whitecaps: Already eliminated
The Whitecaps were eliminated from the playoffs two weeks ago. Carl Robinson will probably be coaching to keep his job in the Whitecaps' final two matches of the season. They face the Earthquakes on Sunday and then host Portland next week.
USA TODAY SportsJennifer Buchanan
Houston Dynamo: Already eliminated
The Dynamo were finally eliminated from the playoffs a week ago, even though it's been clear for weeks now that this wasn't a team that was going to get there. They have a lot to figure out in the offseason, including a permanent head coach, since assistant coach Wade Barrett has been filling in on an interim basis since Owen Coyle left in May.