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Playoff Push: Where the Quakes stand heading into #DecisionDay

Major League Soccer continues to prove that odds are meaningless and what should happen, well, doesn’t always happen. Just one week after the Portland Timbers’ shocking 5-2 win over the LA Galaxy at the Stubhub Center, the last-place, been eliminated since Oct. 4, haven’t won a road game since Aug. 22 Colorado Rapids walk into Sporting Park, where Sporting Kansas City have lost just once this season, and prevail with a 2-0 win, despite finishing the match with 10 men.

You really can’t make this stuff up.

Now that every club has one match left to play, let’s take a look at possible scenarios for the San Jose Earthquakes after #DecisionDay.

The Quakes are still capable of finishing anywhere from fourth to seventh in the Western Conference.

If they finish fourth, San Jose would host a playoff match next week with the Portland Timbers as the only possible opponent. The Quakes would have to defeat FC Dallas and then see a loss by Portland and a loss/draw by both Sporting KC and Seattle Sounders FC.

By finishing fifth or sixth, the Quakes would hit the road for the knockout round and could potentially face the LA Galaxy, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders FC or Sporting Kansas City, given a wide variety of outcomes on Sunday.

A draw for San Jose could still get them above the red line, but would require Sporting Kansas City to lose at home to LA.

A loss to FC Dallas would eliminate the Quakes, as would a draw and a draw/win by Sporting KC, but there is also one scenario in which San Jose can pull in all three points and still find themselves on the outside looking in – if Portland wins/draws, and Seattle and Sporting both win.

Now let’s take a look at the teams San Jose is competing with:

Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids

There is no team in the Western Conference with more to gain/lose on #DecisionDay than the Portland Timbers. Portland can finish anywhere from second (!) to seventh, based on Sunday’s slate alone. An interesting stat to know in regards to Portland is that they are 3-0-0 in their last three road contests, but 0-2-1 in their last three at home. Can Colorado pull off another upset on the road?

Seattle Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake

Seattle has been the epitome of consistency over the past few weeks, but perhaps not in the best way. Seattle is currently riding a seven-game unbeaten streak, but the past three have been draws. In fact, four of their last five matches have finished in 1-1 stalemates. Another draw for Seattle would be a great result for San Jose, as it allows them to control their own destiny.

Sporting Kansas City vs. LA Galaxy

Despite holding one of the better home records in the league, Sporting Kansas City is just 2-7-2 in their last 11 overall matches dating back to Aug. 19 and are also coming off the improbable loss at home to Colorado on Wednesday night. The Galaxy have blown leads in their past two matches, both leading to results that negatively affected San Jose, but can redeem themselves in the eyes’ of Quakes fans with a win at Sporting Park.

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