It’s the last home match of the year for the ol’ Orange and Blue and the playoffs are well within reach. Here are a couple of playoff scenarios to keep an eye on this weekend.

Clinchmas

Celebrating at home, in TQL Stadium, a playoff berth would be incredible. And the path to that scenario is pretty straight forward: 

FC Cincinnati win vs Chicago Fire
Columbus Crew Lose or Draw vs New York Red Bulls

Both teams kick off at 7:30pm tonight so at the conclusion of the match, folks in Cincinnati will know if a celebration is in order. And should these results happen, you know we’ll be celebrating with a BuskBoy behind the Bailey. 

Boxing Day Clinchmas

This won’t be nearly as exciting but will nonetheless be a fantastic result. No in-person celebrations but in this scenario The FC will have the playoffs locked in before Decision Day: 

FC Cincinnati win vs Chicago Fire
Orlando Lose or Draw vs New York City

It’s a shame this match couldn’t be played on Saturday, but at least things can be locked up before The FC have to kick another ball. Now if you’re really wild, you want Orlando to draw this match because…

3rd Place Finish

Yeah that’s right, there’s a path out there that lets FC Cincinnati finish in third place this year, host a home playoff match, and embarrass every pundit for their preseason predictions. These matches cover more than just this weekend, but include this weekend's matchups. And, dare I say, it’s not all that unrealistic: 

FC Cincinnati Win vs Chicago Fire

FC Cincinnati Win vs DC United

New York City Loss or Draw vs Orlando 

New York City Loss or Draw vs Atlanta

New York Red Bull Loss or Draw vs Columbus

    ○ If Loss: Loss or Draw vs Charlotte

    ○ If Draw: Loss vs Charlotte

Orlando win or Draw vs New York City

    ○ If Win:  Loss vs Columbus

    ○ If Draw: Loss or Draw vs Columbus

Hopefully that’s easy enough to follow. No other matches matter for the third place finish, so pay no attention to Montreal or Philadelphia matches for this scenario. Is it likely to happen? No. Am I going to put a few bucks on a parley for giggles? You betcha.