Sporting Kansas City has a playoff berth in the bag, but the battle for seeding is about to intensify.


A pulsating 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy on Saturday officially punched Sporting KC's ticket to the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, marking the eighth straight year Manager Peter Vermes has guided his team to the postseason.


  • PLAYOFF TICKETS:Tickets for Sporting KC’s first potential home playoff match at Children’s Mercy Park are now on sale via SeatGeek.com. Sporting KC Season Ticket Members will automatically retain their seats for all playoff matches, excluding the MLS Cup final, and can contact their Client Services Executive for questions and further information. If Sporting KC does not host a match in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, all individuals who purchased tickets through SeatGeek will be automatically refunded.


With three regular season games still to play, the next step for Sporting KC is to lock down a home playoff game, something they have been unable to do since hoisting the 2013 MLS Cup at Children's Mercy Park.


Currently tied for second place in the Western Conference on 53 points, Sporting KC has plenty to play for as the regular season draws to an unpredictable close. Time to dig into the numbers.


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


Five points from Sporting KC's final three MLS matches would guarantee a top-four finish in the West and a home playoff game that goes with it. Vermes' side faces a pivotal two-game road swing next week — facing a desperate Vancouver outfit on Oct. 17 before venturing south to meet leaders FC Dallas on Oct. 21 — then closes out the regular season ledger with an all-important Decision Day clash against LAFC on Oct. 28 at Children's Mercy Park.


Granted, Sporting KC could end up needing less than five points to clinch a top-four finish if teams below them in the table drop points. But for all intents and purposes, five is the number to target for a playoff match in Kansas City.


Sporting KC controls its own destiny for a Knockout Round bye


If Sporting KC win out, they will be assured of a top-two finish and a Knockout Round bye to the conference semifinals. This outcome would see Sporting KC play away in the first leg on Nov. 4 and host the second leg on Nov. 11. At this point in time, that remains the club's best-case scenario.


As a reminder, the top two finishers in the West will earn Knockout Round byes to the conference semifinals. The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds will host single-elimination Knockout Round matches on either Oct. 31 or Nov. 1 against the No. 6 and No. 5 seeds, respectively.


MLS Western Conference Standings (as of Oct. 9, 2018)

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Club</strong>
<strong>PTS</strong>
<strong>GP</strong>
<strong>W</strong>
<strong>L</strong>
<strong>T</strong>
<strong>GF</strong>
<strong>GA</strong>
<strong>GD</strong>
<strong>Remaining Schedule</strong>
1
x -&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/fc-dallas">FC Dallas</a>
57
31
16
6
9
51
38
13
at DC, SKC, at COL
2
x -&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/sporting-kc">Sporting Kansas City</a>
53
31
15
8
8
56
38
18
at VAN, at DAL, LAFC
3
x -&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/lafc">Los Angeles Football Club</a>
53
31
15
8
8
61
46
15
HOU, VAN, at SKC
4
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/portland">Portland Timbers</a>
51
32
14
9
9
50
46
4
RSL, at VAN
5
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/seattle">Seattle Sounders FC</a>
50
31
15
11
5
45
33
12
at ORL, at HOU, SJ
6
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/real-salt-lake">Real Salt Lake</a>
46
32
13
12
7
51
54
-3
NE, at POR
7
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/la-galaxy">LA Galaxy</a>
45
32
12
11
9
61
60
1
at MIN, HOU
8
<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/vancouver">Vancouver Whitecaps FC</a>
43
31
12
12
7
49
60
-11
SKC, at LAFC, POR
9
e -&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/minnesota">Minnesota United FC</a>
36
31
11
17
3
46
63
-17
COL, LA, at CLB
10
e -&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/houston">Houston Dynamo</a>
35
31
9
14
8
51
49
2
at LAFC, SEA, at LA
11
e -&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/colorado">Colorado Rapids</a>
24
31
6
19
6
32
62
-30
at MIN, at SJ, DAL
12
e -&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mlssoccer.com/meta/club/san-jose">San Jose Earthquakes</a>
20
32
4
20
8
48
69
-21
COL, at SEA

Tie-breaking procedures: (1) Number of wins, then (2) Goal differential, then (3) Goals for