This is an archived article that was published on in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As the Major League Soccer season enters its final stretch, just three teams have been eliminated from the playoff hunt.Now you understand why MLS came up with this playoff format. It keeps fans interested and interested fans keep coming back for more. Only Toronto, New England and Vancouver, Real Salt Lake's opponent Thursday, will watch the postseason on television. Even with three consecutive losses, RSL remains five points in front of Dallas for the third spot in the Western Conference. Colorado is six back.But sitting six points behind Seattle, it looks as if RSL will finish in third, still good enough for a playoff bye.