CONCACAF.com provides an offering of storylines for you to follow during domestic league action this weekend:
Vancouver Whitecaps FC was eliminated from the 2017 MLS Cup playoffs Thursday, falling 2-0 at Seattle Sounders FC (agg: 0-2). A win or draw on Sunday against the visiting New York Red Bulls, however, will see top-seeded Toronto FC progress to the Eastern Conference final and keep the Canadian flag flying during the postseason. Toronto won the first leg, 2-0, on Monday.
First-place host Herediano (14-4-0, 46) has opened a 10-point lead over Saprissa (11-3-4, 36) in the 2017 Invierno. The sides will meet Sunday in a top-of-the-table clash at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma. The unbeaten Florenses have the best away record this season (6-2-0), conceding only three goals in eight matches.
Table-topping Alianza (10-7-0, 37) hasn’t lost in the 2017 Apertura, but it has won only once in its last four outings. On Sunday, the Albos will visit seventh-place Audaz (6-4-7, 22). In a statistical peculiarity, Luis Angel Firpo’s last six outings have ended in draws.
With a six-match unbeaten streak on the line, first-place Motagua (7-6-1, 27) will visit seventh-place Vida (4-5-5, 17) on Sunday. The Ciclon Azul has not conceded a goal in its last 225 minutes of 2017 Apertura play.
A seven-match unbeaten run to open the Red Stripe Premier League season has seen Arnett Gardens (4-3-0, 15) climb into first place. The defending champion is off until Monday, when it hosts Montego Bay United. On Sunday, the match to watch is second-place UWI (4-2-1, 14) against fourth-place visitor Harbour View FC (2-4-1, 10).
With two rounds remaining in the regular season, only two playoff spots have been filled – Monterrey (10-3-1, 33) and Tigres (8-5-2, 29). Thirteen teams, though, remain in contention, though, for the other six berths. The race to watch this weekend is between eighth-place Atlas (6-3-6, 21, GD+3) and ninth-place Cruz Azul (6-3-6, 21, GD-2), which play Guadalajara (Saturday) and Morelia (Friday), respectively.
First-leg matches in the 2017 Apertura semifinals will be played Friday: Managua-Real Esteli and Walter Ferretti-Diriangen.
Due to Independence Day celebrations in Panama, there are no games in the Liga Panameña de Fútbol. Tauro FC, Plaza Amador and Arabe Unido have already secured playoff berths. The last spot will be earned by either Chorrillo FC or Atletico Veragüense, both of which have 25 points.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Only one match in the TT Pro League this weekend, with ninth-place Police FC (2-5-6, 11) hosting fifth-place San Juan Jabloteh (5-2-6, 17). North East Stars (11-3-1, 36)
All three of this weekend’s MLS playoff games will be contested on Sunday. In the Eastern Conference semifinals, the New York Red Bulls will be looking to overcome a 2-1 deficit from the first leg when they visit Toronto FC, while host New York City FC has a lot of work to do against Columbus Crew SC, which holds a 4-1 advantage. In the Western Conference semifinals, Portland Timbers and the visiting Houston Dynamo will look to settle a series that started with a scoreless stalemate.