Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia Union: 5 Things to Watch For

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Oct 10, 2014; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting KC defender Kevin Ellis (4) heads the ball against Chicago Fire mid-fielder Matt Watson (22) during the second half at Sporting Park. Sporting KC won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

2. SKC Still Fighting for Playoff Seeding

Another thing to keep an eye on Saturday night is that Sporting Kansas City still has quite a bit to play for. Yes, they have clinched their spot in the playoffs already and that was obviously the first step. Now it comes down to fighting for playoff seeding.

Currently they are tied for second place in the Eastern Conference, although New England has the tiebreaker over them with more wins. Maybe more importantly to them, though is that they are only 2 points ahead of the New York Red Bulls for that third spot with New York in fourth.

For those that are unfamiliar with how the playoff matchups go, the 2nd and 3rd seed face each other in a home and away series as well as the 1st seed and the winner of a 4th and 5th playoff matchup. That means before the home and aways happen, the 4th and 5th seed face each other in a one game playoff to move to the conference semifinals.

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  • Basically if you are a MLS team, you want to avoid that 4th and 5th seed if you can. In that match you have one shot and the smallest of mistakes or missed calls can end your playoffs right there. In the next round at least you have two matchups to win on aggregate.

    So with Sporting Kansas City only 2 points ahead of New York, Kansas City will want to ensure they stay ahead of that dreaded 4th seed. The best way for them to do that is to win. If they win their next two games they know for sure they will not be in that one game playoff.

    So while SKC may have already clinched a playoff berth, they still have a lot to play for as far as seeding goes so they won’t be looking at this game as just a meaningless game. They will want to go out and win and stay above 4th place.