Two teams just above the red line in the Western Conference square off Sunday with loads of playoff implications on the penultimate weekend of the 2016 season, as Sporting Kansas City (12-13-7, 43 points) travels to Real Salt Lake (12-11-9, 45 points).
Real Salt Lake is tied for fourth place in the Western Conference with the Seattle Sounders, three points behind the third-place Los Angeles Galaxy, but only two points ahead of Sporting Kansas City.
Sporting is two points ahead of the Portland Timbers for the final playoff spot.
Both teams have a chance to clinch a playoff spot. RSL would clinch with a win, while a Sporting win would clinch a spot along with a Portland loss or tie against Colorado.
It will be an uphill battle for Sporting, which come into the game having won only one of its last 14 MLS road matches. To make things harder for SKC, Real Salt Lake is 8-1-7 at home this season.
Dom Dwyer has been the key offensive player for Sporting KC with 16 goals. With a goal against RSL, Dwyer would become the second player in history to score in five straight regular-season games for Sporting (Preki, 1996).
RSL attackers Yura Movsisyan and Joao Plata share the club lead with nine goals apiece. Juan Manuel "Burrito" Martinez has contributed seven goals while ranking among the MLS leaders in duels won, fouls drawn and successful dribbles.
Real Salt Lake has been sputtering lately, going 0-3-2 in the last five matches, including being shut out three times. RSL is winless in the last three matches at Rio Tinto Stadium and hopes to avoid a third-straight home shutout for the first time in 10 years.
Sunday will be the third match between the rivals this season. Real Salt Lake is looking for the sweep after winning both previous games at Children's Mercy Park, a 2-1 victory on April 2 and a 3-1 decision on May 21.