Can LA Galaxy make the playoffs? MLS Western Conference standings
The most successful team in MLS history are on the verge of failing to reach the playoffs. They face rivals Minnesota United on Saturday.
With seven teams in contention for the final three playoff places in the Western Conference, LA Galaxy have a real battle on their hands to make it to the post-season.
The five-time MLS Cup winners have struggled in recent years, only reaching the playoffs in two of the past six seasons. They looked to have turned a corner over the summer but their midweek loss to Seattle Sounders means that they will likely need to win all three of their remaining matches to stand a chance of qualifying.
This weekend they have a must-win game against playoff rivals Minnesota United, who have parted ways with manager Adrian Heath ahead of the clash.
Western Conference set for thrilling finale
The Galaxy are currently down in 13th, six points adrift of FC Dallas in the final playoff spot. However Greg Vanney’s side still have three games remaining, one more than the three teams directly above them.
Along with Minnesota, both Sporting Kansas City and Austin FC are on 38 points, three ahead of the Galaxy. FC Dallas, San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers currently occupy the three remaining playoff places. With so few games remaining it is unlikely that Portland will drop out of the playoff spots, but the fates of the other six teams still hang in the balance.
Incredibly, the six teams battling it out for the playoffs are all playing against each other in the final round of fixtures. This year’s MLS Decision Day looks set to be a thrilling occasion in the West with a potential six-way shoot-out to make it to the post-season.
Here’s how those final weekend fixtures look...
Vanney preparing for a battle against Minnesota
Wednesday’s last-minute loss against Seattle Sounders was a heartbreaker for LA Galaxy and a major knock for their playoff aspirations. But speaking after the game head coach Greg Vanney insisted that his side can still make it to the post-season.
Asked about when he expected for Saturday’s crucial game against Minnesota, Vanney said that he is anticipating a hard-fought, competitive fixture.
“Both of us, with everything on the line, will be trying our best to recover and get ready for this game. With both teams’ seasons on the line it’ll probably be another physical duel. Another battle.”
“In this league, as we get towards the playoffs, it gets more physical and the referees allow it to get just a little more physical,” Vanney continued. “That’s what happens down the stretch, and that’s just how it is.”
If you're in the United States, you can watch a live stream of the game on AppleTV.