There is only one month left in the MLS season. A lot of teams have just four matches left in the regular season, while a few have as many as six contests to play. With first place, home field and playoff spots all up in the air, where do all 20 teams stand?
The Fire haven't been to the playoffs since 2012. Seeing as they're currently the worst team in MLS, that's probably not going to change.
The Rapids have been almost as bad as the Fire over the last couple years and most people expected them to be that poor again this season. Instead, all they did was get off to a red-hot start and, thanks to a defense that has allowed by far the fewest goals in MLS, stand third in the West. They have a good chance to jump the Galaxy for second place, which would give them a bye past the knockout round.
Columbus Crew SC
It looked like Gregg Berhalter had something going in Columbus last season and they were a popular pick to contend for the Eastern Conference crown this season. Instead, they're second from the bottom. Maybe next year, Crew.
For two years, Benny Ball has put D.C. United near the top of the East. It may not have been pretty, but it was effective. Not so much this year as they sit just outside of a playoff spot, but they are only two points back of all-important sixth place. That would get them into the postseason and they have a match in hand. They're right in the mix.
FC Dallas are so good that they haven't thought about making the playoffs in months. At this point, they have their eye on the treble. They already won the U.S. Open Cup and they're first in all of MLS, so they're in line for the Supporters' Shield. With a four-point lead, they're a good bet to take that trophy too. Then it's just about winning the big one -- MLS Cup.
The Dynamo fire their coach mid-season and had one of their Designated Players go out on loan, only to get hurt. So things haven't gone well for them, as evidenced by their being in last place out West.
The Galaxy are aging, have some issues in defense, a big problem through the midfield without Nigel de Jong and still haven't figured out how exactly to use all their attacking talent. And yet they're second place out West and four points back in the Supporters' Shield race. Bruce Arena is a wizard.
The Impact don't really make sense. Sometimes they look like contenders and sometimes they look awful. Didier Drogba is phenomenal and the Impact might be better without him. Right now, they're trying to hold onto a playoff spot, sitting in fifth place but only four points clear of dropping out, but catching the Union for fourth and home field in the knockout round is in play.
New England Revolution
The Revs aren't too different from the Crew -- a talented team that many hoped would compete in the East this season only to see them struggle. But New England aren't second from the bottom. They're holding onto the last playoff spot, but only barely. They have a two-point lead on D.C., who have a match in hand. It's dicey for the Revs, whose only focus is making the postseason at this point.
New York City FC
It's only NYCFC's second season, but they're right there near the top of the East. They're tied with the Red Bulls for second place and could sneak a knockout round bye. Most tantalizing, there is a decent chance that the two New York teams square off in the conference semifinals.
New York Red Bulls
It's a New York battle for second place and a knockout round bye. The Red Bulls will feel like they missed an opportunity last week in Toronto, where they blew a late lead that would have put them in first place. Now it will be tough to top the East, but they'll be happy if they can hold off NYCFC for second place.
Jason Kreis was put in a rough spot, coming in midseason and trying to get Orlando into the playoffs. So far he hasn't done it, but he has them just two points out of a postseason spot with a match in hand. The problem is they're tied with D.C., who also have a match in hand. It would be cool to see the Lions get their first ever playoff appearance, though.
No one has talked much about the Union, but they've spent most of the season in a playoff spot. They're in fourth out East, four points behind the New York teams, so catching them in unlikely. They're focused on staying ahead of Montreal, who are three points back with a match in hand. Philly want to keep fourth place and the home field in the knockout round that comes with it.
The defending MLS Cup champs are just trying to get into the playoffs. That's the same situation they were in a year ago before making a run to the title, though. They are in fifth place, but the seventh place Sounders are just six points back with a match in hand. They're probably going to make the postseason, but they need to finish strong. Getting two of their last four at home, where they are 11-3-2 this season, should be enough to secure things.
Real Salt Lake
RSL are comfortably in the playoffs, sitting in fourth without much threat of falling out of the top six. Catching the Rapids -- three points up with two matches in hand -- or the Galaxy -- four points up -- will be tough, so they're really just preparing for the postseason now.
San Jose Earthquakes
Dominic Kinnear is one of the best managers in MLS history, but with the Earthquakes looking at another season out of the playoffs, his seat has to be getting a little hot. San Jose are second from the bottom in the West and while they are six points out of a playoff place with two matches in hand, making up that gap seems like a long shot.
The Sounders were left for dead, but they did just enough to hang in the playoff race and are now just five points back of Sporting KC with two matches in hand. Their midfield and defense has gotten them this far and could get them into the playoffs. A little more from the strikers would't hurt, though.
Sporting Kansas City
The last thing that Sporting wants is to go on the road in the knockout round. That's how they went out of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, but with four points separating them and fourth place RSL, the road in the knockout round looks likely. That's if they can hold off the Sounders for a playoff place, of course.
Toronto FC made the playoffs for the first time ever last season. Now they're on top of the Eastern Conference and probably favorites to make the MLS Cup final. It won't be easy, but with Sebastian Giovinco getting fit again, plus the red-hot Jozy Altidore, things are looking good. They're only five points back of FC Dallas for the Supporters' Shield with a match in hand, too.
After a good 2015 season and some reinforcements over the winter, the Whitecaps looked like a team that could challenge for the cup. Instead, they've floundered and are eighth in the West. Their season isn't over yet, with six points separating them and Sporting for the final playoff spot, but the Sounders are also in the mix with two matches in hand and the Earthquakes are even with two matches in hand, too. It's unlikely, to say the least.