As far as the rest of the teams chasing the playoffs go:

- Dallas is stuck in neutral, one win in five alongside four draws, and has a game in hand

- San Jose is mildly threatening, only two losses in five, but has played the same number of games as the Timbers

- SKC has won three of their last five and is turning their season around, if not quite as dramatically as the Timbers, but again has no games in hand

- MNU is a hot mess with a game in hand, but is winless in five and has lost three in a row.

- Austin has a game in hand, but is eight points back and is winless in seven (four losses, three draws)

- LAG has two games in hand, but is also eight points back and has only one win in five

Dallas' game in hand is tonight against Colorado, at home, and will drop the Timbers to 8th place assuming they win that game. LAFC plays MNU, and if they win that puts some more air between Portland and MNU.

San Jose plays Dallas this weekend in Dallas, and Dallas plays LAG in their last game of the season. I can see a scenario where Portland finish 9th, particularly if they don't get points in Montreal this weekend. I don't - and I can't believe I am writing this - think they will miss the playoffs, but I think 7th is a tad optimistic.

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I kind of think how the Thorns do with the shield will determine whether they win the Championship again or not. If the Thorns win on Saturday and San Diego loses, the Thorns just need a point, given the goal difference. But even if that doesn't happen and San Diego drops points, the Thorns need to show the capability to win two games in a row to win the Championship. It's not happened in the league since June. If San Diego wins out, then fair enough. But I think it's likely they drop points in one of their last two, and the Thorns have to show an edge to take advantage.

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Looks like there is a process, and it's...processing:

https://theathletic.com/4936533/2023/10/06/mls-timbers-revolution-fire-red-bulls-coach/ ($)

"The Timbers have concluded rounds of interviews with a number of candidates. According to sources familiar with the process, Phil Neville, Dome Torrent, Ezra Hendrickson and Robin Fraser are among the interviewees and are also among the list of final candidates, which is believed to be six or seven names long."

They're apparently not talking to Miles until after the season so he can focus on the job at hand.

The article also says that New England is interested in Gio.

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It's the coming match that makes it so hard to predict.

Typically the Thorns have bounced back after a crap game (and collapsed after a good one!) so it seems like a good time for them to play a blinder and take all three. If they do AFAIK they can't finish below second, regardless of other results.

But. Gotham has had their number, and I see the same problem with the squad they had against SDW; no Smith, so no big likelihood of scoring early and often, and the backline still prone to derping and shipping bad goals.

And if they drop points Saturday I can see them folding in LA, too - and that risks dropping all the way down into the play-in, and I am absolutely certain this team can't win three in a row. So that'd be bad...

My guess? Draws Saturday and LA away, so probably a 4th place finish. I wish I was more optimistic, but I'm kind of stuck there.

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Yeah, at this point with the way the boys are playing I'm a little more worried about what the teams who have one or two more games in had leapfrogging the Timbers. I'm glad they are having so much time between games right now. They need to get a healthy Evander back and heel the numerous other injuries that player no doubt have at this point in the season.

A question that I should know the answer to but don't: what's in it for the players to make the playoffs financially?

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