The Boys in Gold kicked off the weekend of action last evening (though technically the MLS gameweek began back with their Tuesday victory), and there are some important games going down when it comes to their playoff battles. Who should NSC fans root for on the out-of-town scoreboard?
Orlando City SC = Inter Miami CF
OR Orlando City SC > Inter Miami CF
Saturday, 2:30 p.m CDT – Fort Lauderdale, Fla
Neither of these teams taking full points helps Nashville in terms of upward mobility (Orlando) and locking down a playoff slot (Miami). Reaching OCSC is still unlikely – especially since Nashville may be pulling for Orlando wins soon (the Lions play Atlanta and Montreal next week) – but there’s no reason not to keep the dream alive.
DC United > Atlanta United
OR DC United = Atlanta United
Saturday, 4:00 p.m. CDT – Atlanta
It would take an unlikely undefeated run to close the season for DC United to sniff the playoff field, while Atlanta is still jockeying right around that 10-12 region. The Five Stripes taking a loss would help ensure Nashville in the playoff field.
New York City FC = Montreal Impact
OR Montreal Impact > New York City FC
Saturday, 6:30 p.m. CDT – New York
These teams are right in Nashville’s cohort in the table – NYCFC is currently sixth and the Impact ninth – so neither of them taking full points would be helpful.
Chicago Fire > New York Red Bulls
OR Chicago Fire = New York Red Bulls
Sunday, 6:30 p.m. CDT – Chicago
As long as the Red Bulls don’t get full points here, it’s good for Nashville. Since even a win wouldn’t move the Fire up to Nashville’s point total, that’s probably better overall. However, a draw would give Nashville the chance to main distance ahead of Chicago, while still also potentially catching up with NYRB.
Minnesota United > FC Cincinnati
Sunday, 6:30 p.m. CDT – Cincinnati
A Cincinnati loss effectively removes FCC from any potential dark-horse run into the playoff field. With Minnesota in the West, that comes with no opportunity cost.
Philadelphia Union > Toronto FC
OR Philadelphia Union = Toronto FC
Saturday, 6:30 p.m. CDT – Chester, Pa.
NSC ain’t catchin’ either of these teams in the table. What the Boys in Gold do want is for their 1-2 battle to remain as close as possible, so both of them have motivation to go out and win the rest of their games (Toronto’s final contests are against both New York teams and Miami, Philly will take on Chicago and New England plus Columbus). If both are alive for the shield, they’ll be harsher on NSC’s direct competitors.
Houston Dynamo > Columbus Crew
Saturday, 7:00 p.m. CDT – Houston
Nashville isn’t going to catch Columbus in the table, but keeping the possibility of that alive is a harmless little venture. This probably isn’t happening though.
Header photo by Tim Sullivan/For Club and Country