Team celebration - Sporting KC vs. D.C. United - March 31, 2018

Currently occupying first place in the Western Conference with six games left in the 2018 regular season, Sporting Kansas City are within touching distance of a club-record eighth straight playoff appearance.


In fact, Sporting Kansas City can clinch a spot in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs as early as Sunday, when the side travels to Talen Energy Stadium for a noon CT battle against the Philadelphia Union on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM.


Without further ado, let's break things down in our first edition of 2018 Playoff Math.


Sporting KC's magic number is 6


If Sporting KC take six points from their last six MLS matches, they will be guaranteed a playoff berth — regardless of how other teams fare in the Western Conference. 


The math might not seem right based on a quick look at the standings, as teams placed 2-8 in the West could theoretically leapfrog Sporting KC if they all win out. Thing is, it’s impossible for all of these sides to win out based on common opponents in the remaining schedule. SportsClubStats.com takes this into consideration when computing magic numbers in MLS.


With that in mind, Sporting KC's playoff berth could come as soon as Sunday if they win and get help from three other teams.


Sporting KC can clinch a playoff berth Sunday if...


  • Sporting KC beats Philadelphia on Sunday (12pm), AND
  • Atlanta United FC beats or ties Real Salt Lake on Saturday (6pm), AND
  • Minnesota United FC beats or ties the Portland Timbers on Saturday (7pm), AND
  • FC Dallas beats or ties Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday (6pm)


If Sporting KC defeats Philadelphia and Real Salt Lake, Portland and Vancouver all fail to win, Manager Peter Vermes' men will punch their postseason ticket with five games to spare. PlayoffStatus.com confirms this scenario to be a playoff-clincher for Sporting KC.


Western Conference Standings

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Club</strong>
<strong>PTS</strong>
<strong>PPG</strong>
<strong>GP</strong>
<strong>W</strong>
<strong>L</strong>
<strong>T</strong>
1
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/sporting-kc">Sporting Kansas City</a>
51
1.82
28
15
7
6
2
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/fc-dallas">FC Dallas</a>
50
1.79
28
14
6
8
3
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/lafc">Los Angeles Football Club</a>
47
1.68
28
13
7
8
4
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/portland">Portland Timbers</a>
47
1.62
29
13
8
8
5
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/real-salt-lake">Real Salt Lake</a>
45
1.55
29
13
10
6
6
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/seattle">Seattle Sounders FC</a>
44
1.57
28
13
10
5
7
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/vancouver">Vancouver Whitecaps FC</a>
40
1.43
28
11
10
7
8
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/la-galaxy">LA Galaxy</a>
38
1.31
29
10
11
8
9
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/houston">Houston Dynamo</a>
31
1.11
28
8
13
7
10
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/minnesota">Minnesota United FC</a>
30
1.07
28
9
16
3
11
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/colorado">Colorado Rapids</a>&nbsp;(E)
24
0.86
28
6
16
6
12
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/san-jose">San Jose Earthquakes</a>&nbsp;(E)
20
0.69
29
4
17
8