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Let me crush your playoff dreams (if they haven't been already).

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You know Toronto FC are terrible, but still hold out a vague hope that if things go right, they could make a run for the playoffs? Well John Leung is here with a guest post to crush that hope, via the medium of mathematics.

So it's come to this: after four (soon to be five) playoff-less years, we're back again to the CONCACAF Champions League for the third straight year, serving as Canada's representative in the tournament

After being saved by the weather back in May and then putting the icing on the cake the day after Canada Day we're back to where we started last year. The cast of characters is different, the opponent is different, but the story remains the same: the Champions League is the only thing we've got left to play for.

But what's this? You say the Reds can still make the MLS playoffs, and that the Champions League is a pointless exercise? Let me help you crush that now-preposterous idea with a simple argument.

Since TFC entered MLS, a team usually needed anywhere between 39 to 46 points to qualify for the playoffs. This article from Stumptown Footy breaks it down to a science, and the guys in Timber-land have calculated that qualification will take roughly 45 points to achieve.

Currently, after 23 games of a 34-game season, the Reds are sitting at 18 points, with a goal difference of -22. Six of the remaining 11 games are on the road away from BMO Field, with the same number of them coming against teams currently sitting in one of the 10 playoff slots.

If we use 45 points as the benchmark, the team would need to get 27 points out of a possible 33, which would require the team to win eight of its remaining league matches. Take a look at the list of remaining games (CONCACAF group stage dates added as reference, and are italicized):

Date

Opponent

Home/Away

7/30

Portland

Away

8/2

Real Esteli

Away

8/6

DC

Away

8/13

Real Salt Lake

Home

8/16-8/18

Matchday 1

TBA

8/21

Chicago

Away

8/23-8/25

Matchday 2

TBA

8/27

San Jose

Home

9/10

Columbus

Away

9/13-9/15

Matchday 3

TBA

9/17

Colorado

Home

9/20-9/22

Matchday 4

TBA

9/24

Chivas USA

Away

9/27-9/29

Matchday 5

TBA

10/1

New York

Home

10/15

Philadelphia

Away

10/18-10/20

Matchday 6

TBA

10/22

New England

Home

Can you see eight league wins here? Judging from the laughers against FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City, I don't think Aron Winter and the coaching staff see them either.

Yes, there are benefits to winning the league. But the prizes that lie waiting on North and Central America's biggest club football stage are much greater. If you still hold onto the dream of playoffs, crush them now. It's not worth holding on to something that is beyond the realm of possible. There will be better days in the league, but today is not that day.