FC Dallas giveth, and FC Dallas taketh away.
FCD’s 3-1 victory over the Sounders a few weekends ago added further momentum to a late-season L.A. Galaxy surge that didn’t need much help. But on Sunday, with the Galaxy on the verge of passing Seattle in the standings with only those two head-to-head matchups to go, Dallas made another crucial intervention in the Supporters’ Shield race.
Fabian Castillo scored in the 86th minute and FCD survived a late red card for a come-from-behind, 2-1 stunner in Frisco.
The result clinched a playoff spot for the hosts and leaves the Galaxy and Sounders level on points with two games to go — and with Seattle holding the tiebreaker. The Sounders can clinch the Supporters’ Shield either this weekend, when they travel to the StubHub Center, or the next, when L.A. visits CenturyLink in the regular-season finale.
– The result also means that the contenders for the final playoff berth in the West have been whittled down to two: Vancouver and Portland. Both picked up crucial results this week, and the Whitecaps’ 1-0 victory in Seattle maintain their one-point edge in the table.
The rivals are even in the overall wins tiebreaker, and the Timbers have the edge in goal differential. Vancouver, though, has the far easier remaining schedule, with only San Jose and Colorado remaining.
– The Eastern Conference playoff picture also became a whole lot clearer over the weekend.
Columbus roared from two goals down to stun Philadelphia 3-2 at PPL Park — and eliminated the hosts in the process. Only Toronto can catch the Crew now, but the Reds picked up a deflating result of their own in falling 3-1 in New York.
With two match days to go, only a pair of playoff berths are still up for grabs.
Here’s where we stand through 32 games, standings courtesy of MLSSoccer.com, and pay extra close notice to all those new check marks: