Definitely, in the month of October, the last regular-season month of MLS games, following the potential playoff teams takes priority. There are teams already guaranteed their spot, there are the teams fighting for positioning and there are teams fighting to get in.
Also, the race for the Supporters’ Shield, the best regular season record for the entire league (both conferences combined), must be watched closely. In October, every Sporting KC and San Jose Earthquakes match makes the list.
A Sporting KC pro Soccer trifecta still exists and must be followed for its significance. Sporting has the chance to be called the greatest U.S. Club ever.
Saturday, October 6th, Colorado hosts San Jose at 9p.m. Eastern. Colorado plays for pride, while San Jose tries to hold on to the top record in MLS. Teams without a chance of the playoffs can be tricky to play depending on how many new players are getting playing time.
Sunday, October 7th, Columbus hosts Sporting KC at 4p.m Eastern. Columbus Crew still have a lot to play for. They still have a strong possibility of making the playoffs. Currently, the Crew is outside the playoff picture, one point from being tied for the fifth and final playoff spot in the East. Interestingly, they are only 5 points from being tied for a second seed. Sporting plays for the regular season title. It could be the best crowd of the season for Columbus.
Sunday, October 7th, Seattle vs. Portland in Seattle at 9p.m. Eastern. Cascadia Cup on ESPN takes on Sunday Night Football and MLB playoffs.
Saturday, October 20th, Red Bulls host Sporting KC at 7pm Eastern. New York may already have their place secured in the playoffs by this time, so, hard to tell if they will want to show all their cards before the playoffs. They may rest players. New York lost at home against Sporting the last time they played at Red Bull Arena. Sporting continues to fight on for the Supporters’ Shield.
Saturday, October 20th, D.C. United hosts Columbus Crew at 7:30pm Eastern. Playoff positioning is on the line, but, also, one team could knock the other out of the playoffs.
Sunday, October 21st, Vancouver hosts Portland at 7pm Eastern. Expect a sell-out crowd for Cascadia Cup and a chance for Canada to send its only playoff team.
Sunday, October 21st, San Jose hosts L.A. at 7pm Eastern. It will be standing room only in San Jose as they fight on for the best record against the league’s headlining act. It is a possible preview of the Western Conference Final.
Wednesday, October 24th, Sporting KC hosts Philadelphia at 8:30pm Eastern. It is Sporting’s last game of the season. It will be crazy at LiveStrong stadium. Expect domination by KC as they close the season with 3 points to either tie or take the lead for the Supporters’ Shield.
Saturday, October 27th, Portland hosts San Jose at 6:30pm Eastern on NBC Sports Network. It is San Jose’s last regular season match of the season and it comes in one of the toughest places to play, Jeld-Wen Stadium. Portland will be firing on all cylinders for their last match of the season. They have no chance for the playoffs. It is all pride playing to a sold-out crowd.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com