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Sporting KC primed for second-ever MLS Cup run

Sporting KC looks to finish strong and maintain their hold on the first seed in the East.

G. Newman Lowrance

With two games remaining in the MLS regular season, Sporting Kansas City is looking to enter the postseason the same way they started the regular season—with a lengthy unbeaten streak.

After starting the season by winning their first seven matches, Sporting KC was upset by the Portland Timbers. This set the club off on a bumpy patch where they won only 4 times in 14 matches, though they did draw three times as well.

Coming into these final two games, however, they are riding an 11-game unbeaten streak that has seen them go 6-0-5, so they are getting hot again at just the right time and are primed for a lengthy postseason run that could culminate in the club winning its second-ever MLS Cup. But while they currently sit atop the Eastern Conference Standings with 59 points, they cannot afford to rest easy these final two matches.

Although they have had success against their remaining opponents this season—a combined two wins, one draw and one loss against the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls—losses to both teams could conceivably knock Sporting KC out of the top spot and potentially result in the club falling into the play-in round as a #4 seed instead of getting the first-round bye reserved for each conference’s top three seeds.

The Chicago Fire, D.C. United and New York all can steal the #1 seed away from Sporting KC. The Fire sit three points behind Sporting KC, and D.C. United sits five points behind. New York is six points behind and is currently the #4 seed, but even their position is not set in stone as both the Houston Dynamo and Columbus Crew could still leapfrog past them and into playoff contention.

Two things are certain: Sporting KC has clinched a playoff spot and these final 10 days are going to be wild as the Eastern Conference playoff picture sorts itself out. The question is: Can Sporting KC manage to continue their unbeaten ways and take home the top seed?