CARSON, Calif. — It's one of the biggest games on the calendar for the LA Galaxy, and they'll have to sit in front of the tube to watch it.
Wednesday night's Seattle-Real Salt Lake showdown (7pm PT, NBC Sports Network) means as much for the Galaxy as it does for the competitors as the battle for second, third and fourth place in the Western Conference heads into its final week and a half.
The Galaxy (15-11-5) sit five points behind RSL and two behind Seattle, and both of them can get to 61 points. LA can only accumulate 56, with victories Sunday at San Jose (4 pm PT, Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Galavision) and a week later in the regular-season finale against the Sounders at The Home Depot Center.
“We've had plenty of time to look at the table and see the result we need between Seattle and Salt Lake,” midfielder Mike Magee said on the eve of the clash at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. “We'll all be watching, for sure. That's a big game for us.”
What would be the best result for the Galaxy? Magee's not entirely sure.
“Obviously, we'd love to finish second or third, but if we got to play that play-in game [between the fourth- and fifth-place teams], we'll do that, too,” he said. “We'll take second or third. That'd be lovely. I'm not quite sure who we need to win. But we'll take it.”
The best bet for LA would be an RSL victory or a draw. If Seattle wins, the Galaxy would have to make up five points in two games to catch either or both, doable but unlikely. An RSL win would kill the Galaxy's chances for second, but it would leave the Sounders in striking distance – with the Oct. 28 game potentially determining who finishes third and who finishes fourth.
A tie would have virtually the same impact, with the Galaxy eight goals ahead of Seattle in the tiebreaker.
Tune in to Seattle vs Salt Lake tonight at 7pm PT on NBC Sports Network.