Editor’s Note: Below, you’ll be treated to an in-depth look at some of the possible outcomes for the Galaxy should they advance past the Houston Dynamo on Sunday. These scenarios were put together and written by Eric Vieira, co-host of Corner of the GalaxyJosh Guesman, CoG Editor, creator, and host.

If the LA Galaxy win, they’re in. Then what?

MLS Decision Day is upon us and the Galaxy have followed a winding path which has forced them to use all 34 regular season games to decide their fate. The only certainty heading into the final day of the season is that if the Galaxy win and earn three points, they will take sole ownership of the no. 6 seed in the western conference and advance to the playoffs.

The five other teams who have clinched a playoff spot cannot drop lower than a no. 5 seed and the Galaxy cannot finish any higher than no. 6.

If the Galaxy win on Sunday, and I will emphasize the “IF” given the team’s struggles versus the league’s bottom dwellers this season, the Galaxy will play the team that finishes third in the western conference.

Now with that caveat out of the way, who are the likely opponents for the LA Galaxy if they come away victorious from their must-win regular season finale? We have eight possible decision day scenarios that determine the western conference final standings.

And if you’d like an audio walkthrough of the scenarios, be sure to listen to our latest podcast which discussed each of the scenarios.

THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIOS

This scenario features the most likely outcome according to match day predictions from fivethirtyeight.com

  • Sporting Kansas City WIN v LAFC
  • FC Dallas WIN v Colorado Rapids
  • Seattle Sounders WIN v San Jose Earthquakes
  • Vancouver Whitecaps WIN or DRAW v Portland Timbers

FINAL TABLE:

Another likely scenario is if Sporting Kansas City manages a draw against LAFC. The standings do not change, but tiebreakers come into play.

  • Sporting Kansas City DRAW v LAFC
  • FC Dallas WIN v Colorado Rapids
  • Seattle Sounders WIN v San Jose Earthquakes
  • Portland Timbers WIN or DRAW v Vancouver Whitecaps

FINAL TABLE:

THE INTERESTING SCENARIO

The next scenario gets “interesting”. The outcome for the LA Galaxy remains the same, but a major shakeup occurs in the final table.

  • LAFC WIN v Sporting Kansas City
  • FC Dallas WIN v Colorado Rapids
  • Seattle Sounders WIN v San Jose Earthquakes
  • Portland Timbers WIN or DRAW v Vancouver Whitecaps

FINAL TABLE:

The first three scenarios involve a Seattle victory. What happens if Seattle drops points and the outcome changes with the other Cascadia clubs? We are then put in a situation with seeds 3 through 5 tied at 57 points and again, tiebreakers come into play.

  • Sporting Kansas City WIN v LAFC
  • FC Dallas WIN v Colorado Rapids
  • Seattle Sounders DRAW v San Jose Earthquakes
  • Portland Timbers WIN v Vancouver Whitecaps

FINAL TABLE:

THE WACKY SCENARIO

I think you might have noticed a pattern at this point. Barring a strange finish, the LA Galaxy will play Seattle if they win. But as we all know, MLS can get WACKY. So what would happen if the results got a little wacky?

  • Sporting Kansas City WIN v LAFC
  • FC Dallas WIN v Colorado Rapids
  • San Jose Earthquakes WIN v Seattle Sounders
  • Portland Timbers WIN v Vancouver Whitecaps*

FINAL TABLE:

*A Portland loss or draw moves them to the 5th seed, but matchups remain the same.

This is the dream scenario for all parties involved. Angelinos are treated to El Tráfico IV and the Pacific Northwest is treated to a Cascadia Cup Final.

This scenario would involve seeing the newly crowned owners of the Wooden Spoon, San Jose Earthquakes, somehow pulling off a herculean away result. Is it likely? No. Is it was Zlatan wants? Yes.

THE EXTRA WACKY SCENARIOS

Now is when things can get EXTRA WACKY. If Sporting KC and Seattle stumble, the LA Galaxy could see a 3rdpossible opponent land in the third seed.

  • LAFC WIN v Sporting Kansas City
  • FC Dallas WIN v Colorado Rapids
  • San Jose Earthquakes WIN v Seattle Sounders
  • Portland Timbers WIN v Vancouver Whitecaps

FINAL TABLE:

This is probably one of the most challenging scenarios for the LA Galaxy as they would go away to SKC to face a well-coached, talented team in a hostile environment.

A bonus entry in the EXTRA WACKY category involves the 11thand 12thplace teams somehow managing to spoil decision day for their playoff-bound opponents, stealing 3 points each.

  • LAFC WIN v Sporting Kansas City
  • Colorado Rapids WIN v FC Dallas
  • San Jose Earthquakes WIN v Seattle Sounders
  • Portland Timbers WIN v Vancouver Whitecaps

FINAL TABLE:

*Goal Differential based on 1 goal difference in results. Change in goals scored/conceded may impact the tiebreaker scenarios, but standings would remain unchanged.

THE MLS SUPER WACKY SUPREME SCENARIO

What if things don’t just get WHACKY or EXTRA WHACKY? What if 4 out of the 6 possible playoff teams all lost their final game? This scenario is one that I would like to dub, the “MLS SUPER WACKY SUPREME” scenario.

  • LAFC WIN v Sporting Kansas City
  • Colorado Rapids WIN v  FC Dallas
  • San Jose Earthquakes WIN v Seattle Sounders
  • Vancouver Whitecaps WIN v Portland Timbers

FINAL TABLE:

There you have it! Eight possible outcomes for the LA Galaxy should they win. Of the five playoff teams who have clinched, the LA Galaxy could play ANY of them given the right scenario.

Most roads lead to Seattle, but if final match days have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. If you don’t think the final tables can change in an instant, just ask any fan of Manchester City who saw what Sergio Aguero did in stoppage time in 2012 or any USMNT supporter who was watching on that cold, rainy evening in Trinidad & Tobago. It’s MLS decision day and anything is possible.

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