What to watch in the final MLS weekend

Sounders FC will be playing for playoff positioning on Sunday, but several other matches over the course of the weekend could affect Seattle's postseason path.

The final MLS weekend is upon us and not a single MLS Cup Playoffs matchup has been decided, as the races in both the East and West have been tight all season.
It will make for an interesting weekend of action as teams fight for their playoff lives and jockey for postseason positioning.

Here are the pertinent Western Conference matchups and how they affect Sounders FC.

FC Dallas @ San Jose Earthquakes; Saturday, 2:30 pm PT; NBC Sports Network
San Jose has been on a tear for the last six matches, going 4-0-2 while allowing just one goal in the process. However, it will be too little too late for the Earthquakes … unless they can score 12 more goals than the Colorado Rapids. It is very outlandish, but if any team might try to score 12 goals in a game, the Earthquakes are it and it is bound to make the matchup with Dallas intriguing. Otherwise, these are two teams full of players who are looking to make their mark on their club in something of an audition for the 2014 season.

Portland Timbers @ Chivas USA; Saturday, 7:30 pm PT; MLS Live, ROOT Sports
With a win, the Timbers can finish first in the Western Conference and could leap over the New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City for the Supporters’ Shield. In front of the Timbers, who are 4-0-3 in their last seven matches, is Chivas USA. The bottom-feeders in the West, Chivas was still able to pose a tough challenge for Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, charging back after falling behind 2-0, though they weren’t able to complete the comeback and fell 2-1 for their fourth straight defeat.

Colorado Rapids @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC; Sunday, 5 pm PT; MLS Live
This one likely has the most impact on Sounders FC – and the LA Galaxy, for that matter – as the Rapids currently sit fifth in the Western Conference, but are even with Seattle and just one point behind the Galaxy in the standings. The bottom two teams among those three will meet in the Knockout Round in a midweek game next week, something all three would prefer to avoid. Colorado has been up and down in the last month, going 2-2-0 in its last four matches, but one of those wins came last week at home against the Whitecaps in an odd scheduling quirk that has them playing on consecutive weekends to close out the season.

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