The USL First Division playoff picture

With just three home games remaining for the Portland Timbers this season, the USL First Division playoff picture is becoming clearer. The top six teams in the 12-team league advance to the post-season, and the Timbers currently sit in 10th place.

With three points awarded for a win and one point for a draw, the Timbers will need to win all three of their games and hope for several favorable results from other league matches. The top four teams currently are more than nine points higher than Portland, so the Timbers cannot reach higher than fifth place in the league.

The current USL standings are:

Montreal Impact: 47pts, 26 games
Rochester Raging Rhinos: 40pts, 24 games
Vancouver Whitecaps: 39pts, 25 games
Charleston Battery: 38pts, 24 games
Miami FC: 35pts, 25 games
Seattle Sounders: 34pts, 25 games
Atlanta Silverbacks: 32pts, 24 games
Virginia Beach Mariners: 32pts, 26 games
Puerto Rico Islanders: 31pts, 25 games
PORTLAND TIMBERS: 27pts, 25 games
Minnesota Thunder: 27pts, 24 games
Toronto Lynx: 25pts, 25 games

With the current standings in mind, the Timbers need all of the teams but one below to have the following results for Portland to make the playoffs.

#5 Miami: 0 points in three games
#6 Seattle: 1 point or less in three games
#7 Atlanta: 3 points or less in four games
#8 Virginia Beach: 3 points or less in two games
#9 Puerto Rico: 4 points or less in three games
#10 PORTLAND: 9 POINTS FROM THREE GAMES
#11 Minnesota: 8 points or less in four games

The Timbers will need your help to cheer them on to victory over the league-leading Montreal Impact this Thursday at PGE Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., and tickets are available by visiting area Ticketmaster locations, the PGE Park box office or www.pgepark.com.