Western Conference playoff picture coming into focus

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The Galaxy’s playoff scenarios: A victory over the Earthquakes and a Dallas loss to the Wizards would mean second place and a game at Dallas next weekend to open a two-game first-round series. Whether the game would be played Saturday or Sunday will be determined by the national television schedule, If the Galaxy ties Dallas for second in the West – beating San Jose and Dallas playing K.C. to a draw – Dallas wins on the tiebreaker because of regular-season goal differential. The Galaxy would finish third and play host to Dallas in next weekend’s playoff opener. The Galaxy also would finish third if its game is a draw or if it wins and Dallas wins. If San Jose wins, the Galaxy and Colorado would tie for third, and the Rapids would get the edge on goal differential. The Galaxy would open at home against the Earthquakes. “Everyone’s been talking about playoff positioning and whatnot,” Galaxy midfielder Pete Vagenas said. “It’s sort out of our hands. But at the same time, we’re playing a team in our home that we’re more than likely to face at some point of the playoffs. We need to keep setting the tone that they’re not going to win in our building, and it’s important that we play well so that it’s in the back of their minds that they still haven’t won here (this season). CARSON – It’s come down to the final weekend of the regular season, and the Galaxy still is wondering where it will be in next week’s first round of the Major League Soccer playoffs. The Western Conference playoff qualifiers have been determined, but nobody knows how they’ll stack up for postseason. The San Jose Earthquakes – the Galaxy’s opponent tonight at Home Depot Center – has clinched the conference title and the MLS Supporters Shield (best regular-season record), but its playoff opener could be played in Denver or Carson. Second-place FC Dallas has 47 points, followed by the Galaxy and Colorado Rapids with 45. The Rapids closed their regular season with a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, and FC Dallas is home against Kansas City today at 5 p.m. center_img The Galaxy defeated the Earthquakes 2-1 at Home Depot Center on May 21. San Jose won both MLS meetings at Spartan Stadium, but the Galaxy won on the road in the U.S. Open Cup. “Second place is still up for grabs,” said Vagenas, a former St. Francis of La Canada Flintridge and UCLA star. “If we get three points, then obviously it’s a huge game for us, because we want second place.” Galaxy coach Steve Sampson said his team’s approach will be no different than at any point this season, despite the added urgency and muddled playoff picture. “Certainly, a win could potentially put us in second place, which would give us home-field advantage in the first round and possibly the second round, depending on what happens,” he said. “It’s up to us to try and keep the same mentality and to play to win.” The playoff format calls for a two-game, total goals first-round series, with the higher seed home for the second game. The conference final and MLS Cup are one-game affairs. MLS Cup will be played Nov. 13 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. Larry Morgan, (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2272 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more