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2017 MLS Decision Day Predictions: Three-way battle for last playoff spot, plus a crucial Cascadia Cup battle in Portland

11 Games. 90 minutes. 2017 MLS Decision Day is going to be a good one...

2017 MLS Decision Day Predictions – Here we go. The final day of the regular season. It’s the only day of the season in which all 22 MLS sides take to the field simultaneously. The result? A full 90 minutes of action-packed drama, with a whole host of goals expected. All 11 games kickoff at 4pm ET (9pm BST) on Sunday night. You don’t want to miss it.

The 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs are fast approaching and although 11 of the 12 postseason spots are already filled, there are teams across both conferences fighting for that all-important Knockout Round bye. Three teams are fighting for one remaining playoff spot in the East and that’s where you can expect most the focus to be on Sunday. San Jose Earthquakes, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake all still have a chance of clinching a spot on the final day of the regular season and all three have the added bonus of playing at home.

Read on for all 2017 MLS Decision Day Predictions…

Atlanta United 3-1 Toronto FC

What a game this should be. The 2017 season’s best side and Supporters’ Shield winners travel to the league’s most exciting team of the campaign on the final day. Toronto don’t really have anything to play for here. They have secure their Knockout Round bye and can afford to rest players ready for the playoffs. But Atlanta could still finish second in the East. They must win and hope both NYCFC and Chicago fail to pick up victories. At least expect them to do their part of that job…

Embed from Getty ImagesDC United 1-1 New York Red Bulls

The DC United faithful will take to the RFK Stadium stands for the last time this weekend. Other than that there is nothing for either DC or Red Bulls to play for. The home side are guaranteed to finish bottom of the Eastern Conference, but they will be hoping to sign off at RFK in style. Red Bulls can’t finish anywhere other than sixth, with the playoffs looming they will want to avoid defeat, but more importantly, avoid unnecessary injuries. Expect an emotional one for DC, but not much else.

Embed from Getty ImagesMontreal Impact 3-2 New England Revolution

This is the final fixture of what has been an underwhelming season for both Montreal and The Revs. Both have failed to make the playoffs and there isn’t much to cheer about here. New England have failed to win a game on the road in the 2017 regular season. It seems unlikely that it will come away at Montreal, but given there is little but pride to play for here, it might just happen. Can they finally pick up three points away from home on the Decision Day?

Embed from Getty ImagesNew York City FC 2-1 Columbus Crew

New York City FC will look to hold onto second place in the East with a Decision Day win over the Crew. But they’ll have to try and do it away from their usual surroundings. That’s because Sunday’s game will take place at Citi Field, as a result of the New York Yankees game at Yankee Stadium on October 20. Columbus Crew fans have been threatened with a franchise move to Austin. They can lift spirits significantly with a good playoff run and could even get a Knockout Round bye still. A win at NYCFC, coupled with Atlanta and Chicago failing to win would do it. But it’s unlikely to fall into place for them. Second place is NYCFC’s to lose and we don’t see them losing it.

Embed from Getty ImagesPhiladelphia Union 2-2 Orlando City

Another game which will have very little impact on the rest of the East. Both are level on 39 points ahead of the game and having failed to make the playoffs. The result will confirm the finishing position for both sides but considering it’s outside of the top six, there isn’t much to get excited about. Signing off with a win will be the mindset for Philadelphia and Orlando, but with the stats not offering much to split them on, a score draw seems a likely outcome.

Embed from Getty ImagesFC Dallas 3-1 LA Galaxy

What happened to FCD? One of the early season favourites are who are now reliant on results going their way to make the playoffs. If San Jose pick up a win it is all out of their hands. This is easily one of the main fixtures to follow on Decision Day. LA Galaxy face the very real prospect of finishing bottom of the Western Conference. 2017 has been a season to forget for LA and although a win isn’t going to make things any better, they will still be looking to avoid propping up the standings.

Embed from Getty ImagesReal Salt Lake 2-2 Sporting Kansas City

Another Decision Day clash that’s worth keeping an eye on. Real Salt Lake could still finish in a playoff spot, however it seems an unlikely outcome. They are reliant on Dallas and San Jose to both fail to win. The pressure is far from intense for Sporting Kansas City considering they have already secured their place in the post-season action. They can however still end the season with a Knockout Round bye, similarly to RSL, it’s an outcome that is out of their hands as they will need Portland and Seattle to fail to win. A fixture with an outside chance for both sides, with SKC the happier ahead of kick off.

Embed from Getty ImagesPortland Timbers 3-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

A Decision Day rivalry clash. A battle for top spot in the West. And a battle for the 2017 Cascadia Cup. This is going to be one hell of a ride. The Whitecaps beat the Timbers 4-1 on Decision Day a year ago to clinch the Cascadia Cup and also eliminate their rivals – and reigning MLS Cup champs at the time – from playoff contention on the final day. There won’t be anything that dramatic this time around but one of these sides would guarantee a Knockout Round bye with victory. A win would also secure top spot in the West for either. Portland have won five-straight games at home and should get revenge for last year’s final day loss at BC Place.

San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 Minnesota United

The San Jose Earthquakes are 90 minutes away from clinching their first playoff spot since the Supporters’ Shield winning season of 2012. But standing in their way are the ever unpredictable Loons, who will be looking to spoil the party. The Quakes control their own destiny. Win, and they’re in. Anything other than that would open the door to Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas, who will be looking to pounce on any San Jose slip-up. Don’t expect this one to be pretty, but the Quakes should get the job done.

Embed from Getty ImagesSeattle Sounders 3-0 Colorado Rapids

The Sounders are unbeaten in 12 games at CenturyLink Field and will be looking to sign off for the regular season in style. They still can earn a Knockout Round bye with a win, regardless of any other results and that will be the main aim for the reigning champions. Colorado’s season ended a while ago but they’ve been busy ruining other teams’ seasons over the past few weeks. They’d love to sign off with a win but it seems highly unlikely.

Houston Dynamo 1-1 Chicago Fire

Both these sides have done incredibly well to clinch playoff spots after promising seasons. Both were well out of the picture 12 months ago but have improved dramatically over the past 12 months. They’ll both now be thinking of the postseason but Chicago have a really good chance of securing a Knockout Round bye if they can win at BBVA Compass Stadium. They’ll guarantee home-field advantage with a win anyway and that will be their aim. Although the Dynamo are unbeaten in five and will want that streak to keep going into the playoffs. Score draw.

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About Louis East (1214 Articles)

Editor of MLSGB.com. Premier League and MLS reporter.

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