The race for first place

Last two games important for Canadian Championship

After the weekend’s results, the Impact may have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, but the team finds itself in another race – and a familiar place.

Having been forced to play catch-up for the last third of the season as it pushed for the postseason, the Impact is now in a similar spot in the race for first place for the Canadian Championships.

The team with the best record in MLS finishes first in the four-squad Amway Canadian Championship tournament and earns the right to face off against the only second division side in Canada, FC Edmonton.

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC have played 32 games and sit on 42 points, while the Impact is one point behind with the same number of matches played.

With both teams playing their final two games on the same days, October 21 and 27 respectively, it might come down to the close of the season before anyone knows who finishes as the best Canadian side.

Who’s got a better shot?

The Whitecaps are still fighting to secure the final playoff berth in the Western Conference, so they will have to bring it in order to officially eliminate FC Dallas - its closest rival - having a four point lead.

But, examining the final two games of the season may give the Impact the slight edge in terms of competition level.

Vancouver plays the Portland Timbers at home, who are second from the bottom in the West with 30 points, but always play the Whitecaps hard as part of the Cascadia Cup rivalry. Already this season, the Timbers have bested Vancouver with a 1-0-1 record in two games.

Then, they face off against Real Salt Lake, who sits in second spot in the Western Conference with 55 points, on the road.  The clubs have split their two matches this season, with both games ending in a 2-1 score line. 

The Impact, on the other hand, faces two teams sitting in the cellar of the Eastern Conference. The team travels to play Toronto FC, the worst team in the league with 22 points, in its last road game. Despite a difficult season in T.O., the team’s split its regular season with a win apiece and Toronto eliminated the impact in the semi-final.

The Impact then host the New England Revolution in its final game of its inaugural season – a team tied for the second worst record in the league with 29 points. The Impact beat the Revs in both matchups this season, winning 2-1 at home and 1-0 in New England.

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