The Houston Dynamo have plenty at stake when they host the Philadelphia Union at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday.
Not only can the Dynamo clinch a postseason berth with a win and a Columbus Crew loss at D.C. United, but they will also be looking to become the fourth team in MLS history to go undefeated at home over an entire season.
Houston brings a 24-game unbeaten run in league play into Saturday's tilt, the second-longest in MLS history to Real Salt Lake's 29-game streak from 2009-11.
The Dynamo have struggled a bit of late, posting a 2-3-4 record over their last nine games. But despite the recent slide, goalkeeper Tally Hall recognizes that the most the club could ask for is a chance to play in the postseason.
"Definitely happy when it's all said and done that we're in the position that if the season ended today we'd be in," said Hall. "We look back and we still see some critical things that we need to do better. ... I know it's late in the season, but those things can still be done and still be accomplished. We're in a spot where we can get in if we do our job ,so at the end of the day, it's not so bad."
The sub par run of form has made life a bit more difficult for the Dynamo, but Bobby Boswell exclaims that the fact that the team is still alive in the hunt is all that matters.
"We live to fight another day and we still have some business to attend to," said the defender. "Our destiny's still in our hands, but we've made it a little tougher on ourselves."
Philadelphia has not had much to play for in recent weeks as the club was eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago.
But that has seemed to help the Union discover some form as they have won two games in a row since being ousted. They have taken the full three points in three of their last four games following an eight-game winless run.
"We'll get results and we're playing good," Union head coach John Hackworth said. "Before, I think we were playing good, and we weren't getting the results. And that's what I think this team has a little bit of a chip on their shoulder, because we want to prove to people that we can play well and get the results. And so the guys in that room have a lot of pride, a lot of character."
It's too late for the Union to make the postseason, but they can still have a say in the matter and can play the role of the spoiler by taking points off of the Dynamo on Saturday.