The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC are locked in a battle to secure the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Vancouver will know what they have to do by kickoff of their matchup at San Jose (10:30 p.m. ET, TSN), as the Timbers play host to playoff-bound Real Salt Lake on Thursday night (10:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Diego Valeri and the Timbers put together a dominant performance last week against the Earthquakes and need a win against RSL to keep the pressure on their Cascadia rivals. Vancouver scored a memorable 1-0 win against the Western Conference-leading Seattle Sounders thanks to a Kakuta Manneh first-half goal last Friday. The win ensured that Vancouver walked away with the Cascadia Cup to boot.
In the Eastern Conference, the fifth place spot is also being contended by two teams – the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC. It was a week to remember for the Crew. After announcing their new brand and badge midweek, Gregg Berhalter’s men came from behind to score a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Union having gone down 2-0 in the second half. The Crew will visit the New York Red Bulls on Sunday (3:00 p.m. ET, UniMas) needing just a win or a draw to secure their place in the playoffs. Toronto, on the other hand, will need to win and hope for a Columbus tumble in New York in order to stay in playoff contention as they take on Canadian rivals, Montreal Impact, on Saturday (2:00 p.m. ET, UDN, TSN1, TSN4, TSN5, RDS).