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 By Arch Bell

MLS Decision Day predictions: Who will pick up wins on the league's last day?

Relive how the Western Conference played out throughout the 2017 MLS season.
Take a look back at the Eastern Conference standings throughout the 2017 MLS season.

The final week of the MLS regular season is nigh, with a playoff spot up for grabs and postseason seeding still to be decided. ESPN FC's team of MLS writers take a crack at predicting the outcomes of five of the weekend's key matches.

  Atlanta United vs. Toronto FC: Even with both teams already qualified for the playoffs and TFC locked in as the top seed in the East, there is a lot of intrigue about this one. From Atlanta's perspective, it's crucial to finish in the top four in the conference, as it would guarantee a home playoff match. Gerardo Martino's team has flexed their muscles in their new digs and, currently in fourth, they could even finish as high as second and earn a bye in the knockout round. To boot, playmaker Miguel Almiron is expected to be back in the fold.

TFC will present a different challenge altogether. Far and away the best team in MLS during the regular season, Sunday's clash will give the Toronto players a chance to sample Atlanta's attacking style in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Arch Bell: Toronto FC
Jeff Carlisle: Draw
Matt Pentz: Atlanta United
Graham Parker: Atlanta United

 FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy: This is it for FC Dallas. Currently on the outside looking in, it has to beat the LA Galaxy in order to give itself a shot at the postseason. While technically a draw and a San Jose loss to Minnesota could also do it, Oscar Pareja's team need to be thinking three points here.

The fact that it has come down to this for FC Dallas is astounding, and it's not like the Galaxy will be a cakewalk. Granted, Sigi Schmid's team sit rock bottom in the west, but there are still the Dos Santos brothers to contend with and the Galaxy have actually played fairly well in their past three outings, including last week's 3-0 win against Minnesota.

Arch Bell: FC Dallas
Jeff Carlisle: FC Dallas
Matt Pentz: Draw
Graham Parker: FC Dallas

 Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City: Also in the mix for a playoff spot in the West is Real Salt Lake. A point behind Dallas and San Jose, RSL would require some good fortune to sneak into the postseason, but first and foremost there is the task at hand of defeating the best defensive team in the league.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake
Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake will renew their rivalry with plenty at stake in the playoff race.

Jefferson Savarino is still listed as questionable with an ankle injury, and after throwing up a goose egg last week in Colorado, coach Mike Petke might have to swallow his pride and give Yura Movsisyan a start to get the attack going. As for Sporting KC, things have been rocky of late, with two draws and two losses. Not exactly the strongest way to go into the playoffs.

Arch Bell: Draw
Jeff Carlisle: Real Salt Lake
Matt Pentz: Draw
Graham Parker: Draw

 Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Top seed in the West will be up for grabs in Portland when these two meet. In 2017 this slice of Cascadia has belonged to the Timbers, who defeated the Whitecaps in their previous two meetings, each time by a 2-1 scoreline. While Diego Valeri is earning all the headlines for the Timbers, and rightly so with his 11 goals in the past 11 games, Darren Mattocks has also been troublesome for opposing defenses and Vancouver's sturdy back line led by Tim Parker and Kendall Waston will have their hands full.

On the flip side, this will be Portland's first real look at Yordy Reyna. The Peruvian came off the bench and played the final half hour in the last meeting in July, but since then Reyna has been in scorching form, with four goals and three assists in his past six starts.

Arch Bell: Draw
Jeff Carlisle: Portland Timbers
Matt Pentz: Portland Timbers
Graham Parker: Portland Timbers

 San Jose Earthquakes vs. Minnesota United: Just when you are ready to count out San Jose, it'll go on a three-match unbeaten run to poke its nose back in the playoff race. Just last month the Earthquakes were walloped 4-0 by D.C. United and then 4-1 to Chicago Fire, yet here they are needing just a win at home against 10th-place Minnesota on the final day to reach the postseason, thanks in part to Dallas' fall from grace and a gutsy point in Vancouver last weekend.

Quakes fans should not expect an easy ride on Sunday, though. Adrian Heath's Minnesota will fight and scrap the whole way, especially on the heels of last week's poor display in Los Angeles.

Arch Bell: Draw
Jeff Carlisle: San Jose Earthquakes
Matt Pentz: Minnesota United
Graham Parker: San Jose Earthquakes

Arch Bell is based in Austin, Texas and covers CONCACAF for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @ArchBell .


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