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The Daily Dirt, October 18: Bait a Hook

Decision Day has some unanswered questions

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The finals MLS season before Atlanta United joins the league ends on Sunday. While most of the playoff picture has been sorted out, there are still some unanswered questions:

  • The Supporters’ Shield is still undecided. Dallas now only needs a draw in Los Angeles to clinch the Shield and home field throughout the playoffs. Carlos Ruiz’s goal put Dallas in their driver’s seat, but now they have overcome the loss of Mauro Diaz to an Achilles injury. Colorado will likely win their home finale over last place Houston, so that draw is a must for Dallas.
  • The final three spots in the Western Conference are up for grabs between four teams. Portland is on the outside looking in and has the toughest road, traveling to rivals Vancouver after a mid-week must-win CONCACAF Champions League match with Saprissa. Kansas City hosts San Jose, who is already eliminated. Seattle and Real Salt Lake are the other two teams in the fight, and they are playing each other in Seattle.
  • New England still has an outside chance to catch Philadelphia for the last spot in the Eastern Conference, but they need some crazy things to happen to catch the Union.
  • The Red Bulls are all but locked into the top spot in the East, with NYCFC and Toronto battling for the #2 slot and a bye. The #4-6 slots are unknown at this point and could change quite a bit on Sunday. The #4 spot hosts a knockout game in the opening round of the playoffs and is highlight coveted by D.C. and Montreal.

Domestic

National TV picks their games for MLS Decision Day on Sunday (MLS)

Details on the deal between Minnesota United and the University of Minnesota for use of TCF Bank Stadium (Pioneer Press)

Orlando City’s offseason will see lots of changes (Orlando Sentinel)

Problems in Montreal between Didier Drogba and Mauro Biello (SBI Soccer)

Potential buyer for FC Kansas City emerges, Sporting KC passed (The Blue Testament)

International

Matt Miazga starts and plays the full match for Vitesse (Once a Metro)

Luka Modric extends his contract at Real Madrid (Managing Madrid)

David De Gea key as Manchester United escapes with a point at Anfield (Guardian)

Sunderland in talks with Chinese consortium to take over club (The Sun)

Is Arsenal facing a financial crisis? (The Short Fuse)

Local