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MLS Playoff Scenario Update

Colorado Rapids v New York Red Bulls

With two playoff spots remaining and six teams in the hunt, things could get a little dicey in MLS this weekend.

Colorado (40 points) is the only team that controls its own destiny and if they get a win at Real Salt Lake tonight (9 p.m. on FSC) they will clinch the 3rd or 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. However, when you consider that Colorado hasn't won in their previous six games and they'll be on the road (where they have posted a 2-7-5 record). Should the Rapids lose or tie in Salt Lake City, they could still get in, but they'll need some breaks to go their way in the weekend's other matches. Colorado's opponents, Real Salt Lake (37 points) have an outside chance of getting in the playoffs, but they'll need a win and a lot of help to clinch their spot.

Standing just behind Colorado in the standings is a quartet of teams -- Toronto FC, New England, D.C and FC Dallas -- stuck on 39 points. Should those four teams end the weekend tied, the order I listed them in is the order they will finish. There are plenty of other scenarios that could conceivably play out so that any combination of teams will qualify and MLSnet.com does a good job of listing them all right [here](http://web.mlsnet.com/news/mls_news.jsp?ymd=20091023&content_id=7534512&vkey=pr_mls&fext=.jsp).

Not to be forgotten in the race for the final two playoff spots is the battle for the top spot in the Western Conference. There are four teams -- Houston (45 points), L.A. (45 points), Chivas USA (45 points) and Seattle (44 points) -- still in the hunt for the West's first seed and though all of these teams have already clinched their playoff berths they will no doubt be going all out this weekend to get the best seed possible.

The jam-packed table MLS table should make this weekend an interesting one, and if you having interest in seeing potential first round opponents for the Fire in action (or seeing how the Western Conference table shakes out), I've listed the full schedule of this weekend's games below (all times are central).

Saturday:

Toronto FC at New York Red Bulls, 6:30 p.m on Direct Kick/Match Center
D.C. United at Kansas City Wizards, 7:30 p.m. on Direct Kick/Match Center
Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake, 8 p.m. on FSC/FSE
FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders FC, 9:30 p.m on Direct Kick/Match Center
San Jose Earthquakes at L.A. Galaxy, 9:30 p.m. on Direct Kick/Match Center

Sunday:

Houston Dynamo at Chivas USA, 2 p.m. on Telefutura
New England Revolution at Columbus Crew, 5 p.m. on ESPN2

So, the playoff scenarios may be a bit complicated (ok, the most complicated I've ever seen in my years following sports) but regardless of what happens this weekend it will no doubt be one of the most exciting one's of the year...

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  • We're either playing the Revs or RSL. Personally I'd rather take my chances with New England.

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