MLS teams have between 6-9 (nice!) games left to play in the 2022 regular season, meaning it’s officially crunch time for everyone trying to make the playoffs. In the East, 5th through 9th place is separated by just 2 points, while the West logjam sees 6th through 10th place with only a 3-point difference. With this in mind, I’ve decided to add a third category to our weekly watch grid because I love you and want you all to be happy.
- All ratings are on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most impactful towards ATXFC.
Games That Make You Go Meh
Chicago Fire vs Club de Foot Montreal – Saturday @ 7:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
Sporting KC vs San Jose Earthquakes – Saturday @ 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Atlanta United vs D.C. United – Sunday @ 3:00 p.m. (TUDN/Univision/Twitter)
Games With Playoff Implications That Don’t Affect ATXFC
FC Charlotte vs Toronto FC – Saturday @ 6:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
New York Red Bulls vs Inter Miami CF – Saturday @ 6:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
FC Cincinnati vs Columbus Crew – Saturday @ 6:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Orlando City vs NYCFC – Sunday @ 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
- You should definitely watch Hell is Real on Saturday night. It’s gonna be fun.
Games That Matter
Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders – Friday @ 9:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Hey look, it’s only the biggest rivalry in MLS with both teams sitting just below the playoff line and desperately needing a win. This game is a 6-pointer that feels like a 12-pointer. Portland got whacked at Kansas City last weekend and Seattle can’t stop tripping over their own feet after coming back from 2-0 down at the Galaxy to take the lead, only to blow the win with a penalty in the waning moments. Neither team can afford to lose, but neither team can afford to draw either. And since I would like both to miss the playoffs, we’ll take the latter scenario.
The Side: A mean spirited draw
ATXFC Impact Watch Score: 4
Minnesota United vs Houston Dynamo – Saturday @ 2:30 p.m. (TUDN/Univision/Twitter)
There’s one team that I’m worried about potentially stealing that #2 playoff seed from Austin FC: Minnesota United. Even though they are in 4th currently, they are just 7 points behind ATXFC and have the exact number of games left to play as Austin (8). 3rd place FC Dallas has already played two more matches than Austin or Minnesota. The Loons can drag anyone into a rock fight, but I don’t think they’ll need to at home this week. However if Houston would like to hold down a road point, I wouldn’t be angry about it.
The Side: <gag reflex> Hou <gags again > Houston <full on vomit>
ATXFC Impact Watch Score: 3.5
Philadelphia Union vs Colorado Rapids – Saturday @ 6:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Colorado would be level on points with the Galaxy for the final playoff spot if they had not given up the lead to Houston on the final kick of the game last week to draw 1-1. Those dropped two points may be what the Rapids look back on in October as the death knell for this season. Now they get to go play at Subaru Park where Philly hasn’t lost all season. Look Rapids, I want you to be in 7th place instead of L.A. I’m rooting for you Saturday. But you’re screwed.
The Side: Colorado “No Chance in Hell They Pull This Off” Rapids
ATXFC Impact Watch Score: 3.75
FC Dallas vs Real Salt Lake – Saturday @ 8:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
This could be a round 1 playoff preview. Frisco only leads Minnesota by one point, but as mentioned earlier, the Loons have two games in-hand to make up that gap. You know who else has two games in-hand on FC Southern Oklahoma? Real Salt Lake. They are just four points back of FCD. I wouldn’t be at all shocked if this game decides who gets the #4 seed and hosts an opening round playoff matchup between these same two teams.
The Side: When in doubt, cheer against Frisco
ATXFC Impact Watch Score: 2.75
Vancouver Whitecaps vs Nashville SC – Saturday @ 9:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
Huge game here for two teams battling right at the cutoff line. Nashville got a much-needed win at home last week by blasting Frisco while the Whitecaps pulled out a late equalizer to draw at RSL. Vancouver is level on points with the Galaxy for the 7th and final playoff spot, but L.A. has two games in-hand. A home win vaults Vancouver over the Coyotes in the standings. I’d like to see it.
The Side: Vancouver
ATXFC Impact Watch Score: 4.25
New England Revolution vs L.A. Galaxy – Sunday @ 7:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
Both teams are right on the edge of making their respective conference’s playoffs. The Revs are in 8th in the East and the Galaxy are in 7th in the West. Normally I’d cheer for L.A. to drop points, but I also have no desire to face Chicharito & company in Round 1. The Galaxy picking up points moves them up the table and further away from Q2 Stadium. Sorry Bruce Arena.
The Side: L.A. Galaxy
ATXFC Impact Watch Score: 4.5