Playoff scenarios: who will clinch a spot next?

RSL can join LA in postseason with a win; Houston face elim.

rsl celebrate

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year: playoff race time!

And this weekend, several teams have their fates on the line—both for the good and the bad.

First, the good. Real Salt Lake need only win against the Colorado Rapids this Saturday, and they’ll join their 2009 MLS Cup final opponents, the LA Galaxy, in the postseason.

A draw in Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Cup will also see RSL through, if FC Dallas beat the Kansas City Wizards and the Fire pull out a win against Seattle.

The Columbus Crew, meanwhile, can clinch a playoff spot by beating the New England Revolution on Saturday, but only if Chicago and FCD win their matchups.

Two teams, however, are fighting for their postseason lives. The Houston Dynamo cannot afford a loss to already-eliminated D.C. United if they want to stay alive, but they can stay afloat with a draw. They'll only be eliminated then if the Rapids defeat RSL, the Earthquakes top Toronto FC and the Sounders top Chicago.

New England’s elimination threat is less immediate. The Revs can only be eliminated if they lose to Columbus, AND Colorado manages at least a draw out of the Rocky Mountain Cup AND the Quakes and Sounders win their matchups.

Neither the Philadelphia Union nor Chivas USA can be eliminated from postseason contention on Saturday.