A breakdown of the Union's postseason picture and the games, teams to watch
Watch and wait.
That's the theme this weekend with the Union idle on the MLS calendar.
The bye week doesn't come at a great time, with the club looking to reverse a five game winless streak and get back into playoff positioning. Saturday's home loss left the team on the outside looking in.
That being said, this weekend's results are now that much more important.
Here's a look at the Saturday and Sunday matchups, with ideal results to benefit the Union, listed in order of importance.
1A . - Chivas USA at Houston Dynamo, 8:30 p.m. (Watch via MLS Live)
Best Result: Chivas win
We'll call the first two games 1A and 1B, because they're both equally influential.
Union fans should be pulling hard for Chivas USA to win this match and keep Houston at the 40 point mark. Even a draw would allow the Union to stay within two points of the Dynamo. A Chivas loss, and the Union finds itself four points back in the standings.
Beyond that, and this is just a footnote for our purposes – you want Chivas USA to lose every single game after this one. The Union acquired Chivas' 2014 first round draft pick in the Gabriel Farfan trade and the Goats final table positioning affects Philadelphia's selection in January.
1B. Chicago Fire at Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m. (Watch via MLS Live)
Best Result: Draw
This one is a little trickier.
Chicago is even with the Union on 39 points and Columbus is sitting on 35 points.
If the Fire win, they pull three points ahead of the Union and deal a serious blow to the Crew's playoff chances.
On the other hand, a Columbus win holds Chicago down but pulls the Crew to within just one point of Philadelphia.
You're essentially dealing with a "catch 22" in this game, and the most ideal result might be a draw.
3. D.C. United at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (Watch via MLS Live)
Best Result: D.C. win
Obvious here – you want D.C. United to win this game.
New England is on a two game losing streak and currently stuck on 37 points.
Considering the success the Revs have had against the Union this season, you really want to avoid this team in a 4/5 play-in game.
4. Sporting Kansas City at Toronto FC, 4:00 p.m. (Watch via MLS Live)
Best Result: Toronto win
The games involving Kansas City and Montreal take less precedence because they are both six points above the Union.
Still, there's a chance to catch KC. A loss in Toronto and a Union win next week at Sporting Park would close the gap between the teams to just three points.
5. Vancouver Whitecaps at Montreal Impact, 2:00 p.m. (Watch via MLS Live)
Best Result: Vancouver win
Montreal still has a game in hand on the rest of the East, so they're in better position right now than Kansas City.
A Vancouver win holds the Impact in place for the time being.
6. FC Dallas vs. New York Red Bulls, Sunday, 5:00 p.m. (Watch via MLS Live)
Best Result: Dallas win
Shouldn't need an explainer here. You always want Red Bull to lose.
What are your thoughts on this weekend's telling slate of MLS matches? Drop us a comment below.
Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at email@example.com