Countdown to the Playoffs

The MLS horserace is hitting the home stretch. Who'll get their nose out front as it gets down to the wire in the MLS west? - Patrick Smith

Just 10 games remain in the Vancouver Whitecaps' 2013 regular season, and the countdown to the Western Conference playoffs is now officially on. With that in mind, let's take a quick look at some key numbers - in order.

10 - With ten matches remaining, the Caps find themselves in an eight-way race for five playoff spots.

9 - Nine of Vancouver's ten remaining matches are against Western Conference opponents. Kudos to the MLS schedulers for seeing to it that we're in for a bunch of six-pointers down the  stretch.

8 - Eight of the final ten matches for Vancouver are against teams with winning records.

7 - Seven is the overall Goal Differential between first-place Real Salt Lake (11) and fifth-place Vancouver (4).

6 - The number of points still up for grabs versus Cascadian rivals (Home vs Seattle, Away vs Portland).

5 - The number of points separating Vancouver (36 pts) from from overall league leader RSL (41 pts).

4 - The LA Galaxy have to squeeze in four CONCACAF Champions League matches between now and the end of the season - each time, running into either three- or four-day turnarounds. San Jose have two CCL matches remaining, both with three-day turnarounds.

3 - The number of points the Seattle Sounders have picked up relative to the Whitecaps over the last six matches.

2 - Only two points separate Vancouver (5th and final playoff spot) from Seattle (6th, and currently on the outside looking in)

1 - Only one Cascadian team faces a three-game road trip in the final stretch: Vancouver (Sept. 7-21: Dallas, San Jose, Montreal).

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