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Big MLS Sunday: For playoff hopefuls Chicago, New England and Houston, its “win and get in”

Oct 26, 2013, 8:31 PM EST

New England's Diego Fagundez, only 18 ... but he just finished tied in league scoring with a team-leading 13 goals. Getty Images

The playoff race looks a lot less muddled today after two meaningful results, including one that made a whole bunch of fans at other clubs quite happy.

Philadelphia’s loss to Sporting Kansas City means the Union is eliminated, so that takes some of the “muddle” off the board. But the one that really affects other clubs is Montreal’s loss at Toronto FC. Here’s what it means for Sunday’s MLS matches:

  • Chicago can now qualify for the playoffs with a draw at New York. (Obviously, the Fire qualifies with a win, too.) That’s important, because going into the weekend, there was a big chance that Frank Klopas’ team needed all three points. Now, getting in with just a draw gives the Fire a smidge more wiggle room, which may take a little pressure off the visitors – and may even alter the way Klopas approaches his tactics or his substitutions.

(MORE: Golden Boot and more there for the taking for Magee, Chicago)

  • Nothing changes for New England in that Jay Heaps’ team needs a win to qualify for the 2013 playoffs. But Montreal’s loss improves the Revs’ chances of escaping that mid-week elimination match; a New England win Sunday could now push 18-year-old scoring sensation Diego Fagundez (pictured above) and his Revs into the East’s third spot, which is far better than fourth or fifth in the current MLS playoff format.
  • Montreal’s loss means the most for Houston. Coming into the weekend, Dominic Kinnear’s team needed a victory and just a little help to make the post-season. Well, mark down the Impact’s loss as “a little bit of help.” Now, if the Dynamo can prevail Sunday at RFK Stadium, the Orange will definitely qualify. Remember, the club has missed the post-season just once since arriving in Houston in 2006.
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