August 19, 2018 Atlanta: Atlanta United midfielder Hector Villalba scores a goal past Columbus Crew defender Jonathan Mensah for a 2-1 lead during the second half in a MLS soccer match on Sunday, August 19, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/
Photo: Compton
Photo: Compton

MLS Week 34: Ranking the games

Ranking this week’s MLS games from best to worst.

Sporting KC at Vancouver, 10 p.m. Wednesday and Sporting KC at Dallas, 5 p.m. Saturday. KC trails first-place Dallas by four points and second-place LAFC by three points in the West, but has played one less game than both. Doing some quick ciphering, it seems that if KC wins both games this week, it can move into first.

Vancouver at LAFC, 5 p.m. Saturday. The Whitecaps trail Real Salt Lake by three points for the sixth spot. LAFC are hoping to clinch the top spot in the West.

New York Red Bulls at Philadelphia, 3 p.m. Saturday. Shifting to the East, the Red Bulls are one point behind Atlanta United in the race for the Supporters’ Shield and this will be the toughest of their two remaining games. Three points is a must to keep pressure on the Five Stripes.

Chicago at Atlanta United, 3 p.m. Saturday. Even without Miguel Almiron and possibly Hector Villalba, this is a game that Atlanta United should win and move a few points closer to the Shield. It needs a combination of six points secured or dropped by the Red Bulls to win its first trophy.

Toronto at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and NYCFC at D.C. United, 3 p.m. Saturday. Moving from the top of the East to the bottom, D.C. United moved above the red line with last week’s win against Dallas. Now, it must keep its spot with two more games. The first should be easy. The second will be much tougher, particularly with NYCFC trying to hold off the Union for the third spot in the East.

Real Salt Lake at Portland, 5 p.m. Saturday. Neither has secured a playoff spot in the West, but the Timbers can with a win (if they haven’t already based upon Wednesday’s results). RSL, in seventh and a point ahead of L.A., would put an immense amount of pressure on the Galaxy if it can get a win in this one.

Toronto at Montreal, 3 p.m. Saturday. The Impact must win this one to pressure D.C. United for the final playoff spot in the East.

Columbus at Orlando City, 3 p.m. Saturday. The Crew still haven’t clinched a playoff spot. It must get three points against one of the league’s worst teams.

Seattle at Orlando, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Seattle at Houston, 5 p.m. Saturday. What I wrote about Columbus is true for Seattle, but in the West.

New England at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m. Thursday. Real Salt Lake is desperately trying to hold onto sixth. The Revs have already been eliminated.

L.A. Galaxy at Minnesota, 5 p.m. The Galaxy are looking California, while the Loons are feeling Minnesota.

Colorado at San Jose, 5 p.m. Saturday. This might be the saddest game in the history of soccer.

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