Saturday's 1-1 draw at Minnesota United FC prevented Sporting Kansas City from securing a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs, but it did vault Manager Peter Vermes' men into sole possession of second place in the Western Conference.


Heading into Wednesday's matchup at the Houston Dynamo, Sporting KC has 48 points and a game in hand on every team in the West except Houston. A club-record seventh straight playoff berth is almost a certainty, but what about a top-four finish or a top-two finish? Here's an updated look at Sporting KC's remaining schedule and magic numbers.


SPORTING KC'S REMAINING SCHEDULE

<strong>Date</strong>
<strong>Opponent</strong>
<strong>Time (CT)</strong>
<strong>TV</strong>
Wednesday, Oct. 11
at Houston Dynamo
7pm
FOX Sports KC
Sunday, Oct. 15
HOUSTON DYNAMO
6:30pm
FOX Sports KC
Sunday, Oct. 22
at Real Salt Lake
4pm
FOX Sports KC (subject to change)

Sporting KC's magic number to make the playoffs is 1


The team needs a single point from its final three matches to punch a ticket to the playoffs. Sporting KC could conceivably lose all three and still qualify, if any two of FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake and San Jose Earthquakes fail to win both of their remaining games.


Sporting KC's magic number for a home playoff game is 5


Five points from Sporting KC's final three matches would guarantee that Children's Mercy Park hosts a playoff game for the first time since 2013. But remember: a magic number is the total number of points earned plus opponents' points dropped needed in order to achieve a goal. Because Houston is one of the clubs chasing Sporting KC, a win on Wednesday or a win on Sunday against the Dynamo would seal a top-four finish. Sporting KC would also clinch a top-four spot with draws in both games against Houston next week.


Sporting KC's magic number for a knockout-round bye is 6


A top-two finish would give Sporting KC a knockout-round bye, avoiding the one-and-done fixture in which Vermes side has lost three years straight. Six points (or two wins) from their last three games would see Sporting KC accomplish that goal.


It's also possible for Sporting KC to clinch a top-two spot as early as next Sunday with less than six points from their double-dip against Houston. Click here for PlayoffStatus.com's entire list of nine scenarios that would see SKC secure a knockout-round bye with a game to spare.


WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS (THROUGH OCT. 8, 2017)

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Club</strong>
<strong>Points</strong>
<strong>Games<br> Remaining</strong>
<strong>Potential<br> Points</strong>
<strong>Record</strong>
<strong>Goal<br> Diff.</strong>
1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC&nbsp;<strong>(X)</strong>
51
2
57
15-11-6
+2
2
Sporting Kansas City
48
3
57
12-7-12
+13
3
Portland Timbers
47
2
53
13-11-8
+5
4
Seattle Sounders FC
47
2
53
12-9-11
+6
5
Houston Dynamo
43
3
52
11-10-10
+8
6
FC Dallas
43
2
49
10-9-13
0
7
Real Salt Lake
42
2
48
12-14-6
-6
8
San Jose Earthquakes
42
2
48
12-14-6
-22
9
Minnesota United FC <strong>(e)</strong>
36
2
42
10-16-6
-19
10
Colorado Rapids <strong>(e)</strong>
30
2
36
8-18-6
-18
11
LA Galaxy <strong>(e)</strong>
29
2
35
7-17-8
-21

(X) - Clinched playoff spot
(e) - Eliminated from playoff contention
Tie-breaking procedures: (Number of wins, then goal differential, then goals scored, etc.)