Sounders Insider

Sounders likely to clinch playoff spot this week

Sounders FC began last week with a chance to clinch an MLS playoff spot. However, the result wasn't in their hands, as three different results needed to fall into place -- and didn't.

That's not the case this week. Seattle can do the clinching itself ... and might get in even if it doesn't manager a result Saturday at Vancouver. Here is MLS' guide as to how it could happen.

· Seattle defeats or ties host Vancouver on Saturday OR

· Seattle loses to Vancouver AND

o Two of the following occur: Houston ties or loses; Colorado loses, Portland loses

That Saturday match to the north also could be fatal to the Whitecaps' chances, as:

Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be eliminated from contention for the MLS Cup Playoffs IF:

· Vancouver loses to Seattle OR

· Vancouver ties Seattle AND

o New York wins (once) OR Portland wins (once) OR D.C. United wins both games this week

· Vancouver defeats Seattle AND

o Three of the following occur: Philadelphia wins AND Houston wins; and New York wins AND ties OR Portland wins AND ties

Meanwhile, Real Salt Lake -- Seattle's most-likely playoff-opening opponent -- also can clinch this week, if:

· RSL defeats host New York on Wednesday AND

o Houston ties or loses OR Colorado loses

· OR RSL defeats host D.C. United on Saturday AND

o Houston ties or loses AND Colorado loses

· OR RSL fails to win both games AND

o Portland loses twice this week AND Houston loses