Last Chance Saloon: The Union's Week 34 Playoff Picture

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

This is it. After 5 dropped points in 2 weeks the Union are living on less than a prayer. While the dream is still alive for 2013 playoffs, there is a lot that needs to happen to make sure there is more than one game left in the season.

The Week That Was

3. Houston Dynamo - 48 Points, 32 Games Played
4. Montreal Impact - 46 Pts, 31 GP
5. Chicago Fire - 46 Pts, 32 GP
6. Philadelphia Union - 46 Pts, 32 GP
7. New England Revolution - 45 Pts, 32 GP
8. Columbus Crew - 41 Pts, 32 GP

Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 Montreal Impact
The week started out well for Philadelphia. This is exactly the result that the Union needed and it looked like the playoffs were back in sight. The unlikely hero of the day for the Galaxy was Kofi Opare who grabbed the winner in the 68th minute for the home side. The Galaxy were on top for much of the game and it showed in the stats. Shots, passes, corners, possession, every stat that matters ended in favor of LA.

Sporting Kansas City 1-0 DC United
Where the Union couldn't take care of business, SKC made sure they picked up all three points. Dominic Dwyer put the hosts up early and it was enough for SKC to hold off the MLS bottom feeders. The score didn't show the full story of the game while DC was able to keep up in nearly all other statistical categories, but couldn't put the pieces together to finish.

Montreal Impact 2-1 Philadelphia Union
I'm not going to say too much about this game...we all know what happened. In the end it was a Justin Mapp assist from a free kick that would snatch any points the Union were trying to hold on to. It puts even more pressure on next week's game.

New England 3-2 Colmbus Crew
Yet another game that didn't help the Union's chances. This high scoring, back and forth slug fest kept New England involved in the playoff race and saw Columbus officially elimnated. Dominic Oduro had a goal and an assist that looked like Columbus would earn at least a point and pressure for the full three until the young superstar, Diego Fagundez came up big with yet another goal.

Chicago Fire 1-0 Toronto FC
Another story of a team doing exactly what it needs to against teams it should take care of to make sure they stay firmly in a playoff spot. Mike Magee continues to impress and will have to be named amongst the front runners for MLS MVP with yet another important goal. It's still amazing that the Galaxy gave him up.

Houston Dynamo 0-3 New York Red Bulls
If you haven't seen Tim Cahill's goal just 7 seconds into the game to become the fastest goal in MLS history make sure you find a highlight online. It's not every day you see a team of any level finish that quickly in such a big game. The hosts were stunned and with a major trophy nearly in their hands New York proved they are taking the title seriously this year. It'd be hard to bet against them now.

The Week That Will Be

3. Montreal Impact - 49 Points, 33 Games Played
4. Chicago Fire - 49 Pts, 33 GP
5. New England Revolution - 48 Pts, 33 GP
6. Houston Dynamo - 48 Pts, 33 GP
7. Philadelphia Union - 46 Pts, 33 GP

10/24 Arabe Unido vs Houston Dynamo (Fox Soccer Plus)
It might not be an MLS game, but having to play an extra game this week is the last thing Houston would want. Having to travel to Panama in midweek as well will add to the risk facing Houston. This isn't even just a pointless game, the Dynamo need at least a point on the road to win the group and a loss would mean the Panamanian side go top of Group 1. Best Result: It doesn't really matter for the result, but having Houston play two games is a win for the Union.

10/26 Philadelphia Union vs Sporting Kansas City (NBC Sports)
This is it. Win (and hope for other teams to lose) or go home. Heck, even a win could still see the Union end their season on Saturday. They did it in Kansas City, so what is saying that the Union won't be able to pull just one more result? Of course it will come at a price for Union fans. A win will put New York one step closer to clinching the Supporters' Shield. Best Result: Has to be a win! Anything else means the offseason starts around 5pm on Saturday.

10/26 Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact (MLS Live)
This game has little to no impact on the Union. Montreal can still miss out on the playoffs depending on how other games finish. It isn't likely that Toronto is going to look too interested in this game as they are just 90 minutes from another long off season of changes. Best Result: Without an impact on the Union, feel free to cheer for which ever team you dislike the least.

10/27 DC United vs Houston Dynamo (NBC)
Here's where we see how that midweek to Panama plays into the playoff picture. Houston is in the same boat as the Union and need the win and then some help to even think about playoffs. DC may be a rival and they may be struggling through the year, but Union fans need to hope for one last result from the Black and Red. Best Result: A DC win would be perfect, in that case the tie breakers are not in use and the situation is not as messy as it could be,

10/27 Columbus Crew vs New England Revolution (MLS Live)
The only team currently in a playoff spot that the Union are able to jump clean over if the results fall right is New England. A win by the Union paired with a Columbus win would mean New England miss out on the playoffs. Last week's matchup was an exciting one and the same result will be devastating for the Union. Best Result: If Columbus get 3 points it is lights out for the Union. Hope for the loss and there is a chance for the Blue and Gold to go back to the playoffs.

10/27 New York Red Bulls vs Chicago Fire (UniMas)
So the Union can't overtake either team in points, but there is still huge implications in this match up. Should Chicago lose they still have a chance of missing out on the playoffs and New York hoist the Supporters' Shield, while a Chicago win guarantee them a playoff spot and puts the Supporters' Shield up for grabs. Best Result: Since there isn't a real implication on the Union's playoff hopes, it is pretty easy to root against New York!

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