Just four points separate seven teams below LAFC in MLS's Western Conference

LAFC is the only team that has clinched a playoff spot in the Western Conference and will clinch first place on Sunday with a win over Minnesota United (or a combination of results involving the Seattle-LA Galaxy game).

But there's a logjam below LAFC with seven teams separated by four points in the battle for the other six playoff spots. And late-charging Sporting KC is only three points behind in ninth place after picking up its third straight win with a 1-0 win over Houston on Saturday.

Three other Western Conference teams ahead of Sporting picked up must-wins at home.

-- San Jose took care of business against Orlando City, whose playoff hopes in the Eastern Conference took a major hit when the Quakes prevailed, 3-0, with three goals in the first 33 minutes, two from Chris Wondolowski, who added to his MLS scoring record, now at 157 career goals. The win was the second for San Jose without Matias Almeydaon the sideline. The Argentine head coach has one more game to serve in a three-game suspension.

-- Having played two more games than the teams below it, FC Dallas needed to beat hapless FC Cincinnati, and took care of business with a 3-1 win. It played six Americans who are headed off to national team camps -- Jesse Gonzalez, Reggie Cannon and Paxton Pomykal with the senior team in New Jersey, Brandon Servania and Jesus Ferreira with the U-23s in Chula Vista and Ricardo Pepi with the U-17s in the Netherlands. Their average age: 19.7.

-- In the middle of a 10-game homestand, the Portland Timbers squandered a chance to move into second place when they lost back-to-back games at home to Atlanta United Seattle. A third straight loss to Real Salt Lake would have been disastrous, but Portland got an early goal from Diego Valeri and held on for a 1-0 win. But things got very nervy at Providence Park, where sub Renzo Zambrano was shown a red card deep in stoppage time for pushing referee Nima Saghafi. On the ensuing free kick just outside the area, RSL's Albert Rusnak fired a low hard shot headed toward the bottom right corner of the goal, where keeper Steve Clark to parried the ball. Aaron Herrera had a close-range attempt on the rebound but his shot sailed over the crossbar.

Western Conference:
1. *LAFC, 62 points (27)
2. (+4) San Jose, 44 points (28)
3. (-1) Real Salt Lake, 43 points (28)
4. (+3) FC Dallas, 43 points (29)
5. (-2) Seattle, 43 points (27)
6. (-2) LA Galaxy 42 points (27)
7. (-2) Minnesota United, 42 points (27)
8. Portland, 40 points (27)
9. Sporting KC, 37 points (28)
10. Houston, 31 points (28)
11. Colorado, 30 points (28)
12. Vancouver, 27 points (30)
Note: In parentheses are games played.
*Clinched playoff berth.

1 comment about "Just four points separate seven teams below LAFC in MLS's Western Conference".
  1. R2 Dad, September 2, 2019 at 7:48 p.m.

    I know I'm supposed to be excited because of how tight the table has become. But this feels manufactured. While watching Seattle/Portland, I was struck by the amount of running with the ball there is. It just seems....odd. Even the tight score in that game couldn't hide the lack of composure those teams have. No lead seemed safe in the second half. I don't know--wake me up for the playoffs.

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