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MLS Playoffs Knockout Round Preview: Win or go home

FC Dallas v Colorado Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, CO - OCTOBER 18: Blas Perez #7 of FC Dallas celebrates his goal on a penalty kick in the 56th minute against the Colorado Rapids with his teammates at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on October 18, 2014 in Commerce City, Colorado. FC Dallas defeated the Rapids 1-0. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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One win is all that’s needed to advance out of the always-exciting knockout round of the MLS Playoffs.

Things get underway tonight in Dallas before heading east to Red Bull Arena tomorrow night. Take a look at a quick breakdown of the knockout round matchups.

Western Conference

FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
When: Tonight, 9 p.m. ET
Where: Toyota Stadium

DAL: 54 points (16W, 12L, 6D)
VAN: 50 points (12W, 8L, 14D)

The teams have split their three meetings this year with a win, loss and draw each.

[ RELATED: PST staff’s MLS Playoff predictions ]

FC Dallas is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011 as they look to handle a confident Vancouver side. The Whitecaps head to Dallas undefeated in their last five matches while not allowing a goal since September 27th.

Tesho Akindele has had a strong rookie campaign for Dallas and could cement his status as a future star with a good showing in his playoff debut. For Vancouver, it’s been all Pedro Morales as he dominates all the major offensive statistics for his club. In his first season in the MLS after playing in Spain’s La Liga, Morales will have to play well if Vancouver wants to survive

[ MORE: PST’s Coach of the Year | Team of the Year ]

Eastern Conference

New York Red Bulls vs. Sporting KC
When: Tomorrow, 8 p.m. ET
Where: Red Bull Arena

NY: 50 points (13W, 10L, 11D)
SKC: 49 points (14W, 13L, 7D)

New York won two of their three meetings this season, drawing the third.

[ RELATED: Robbie Keane named PST’s Player of the Year ]

A rematch of the final game of the season, the New York Red Bulls will look to take down Sporting KC for the third time in four matches this season. Bradley Wright-Phillips was a handful for the Sporting defense in their previous meeting, scoring two goals to tie the MLS single-season scoring record of 27 goals.

[ RELATED: BWP ties single-season scoring record ]

BWP has been the man for New York, but all eyes will be on Thierry Henry in what could be his final game in the MLS. The French star missed out on the Red Bulls’ final match of the regular season with an Achilles problem, but expect him to feature in Mike Petke’s side against Sporting KC.

Coming off of three straight losses while only managing one win in their last six matches, Sporting KC can ill afford another poor showing. The Red Bulls have scored more goals than any other team in the East, so it’s up to Matt Besler and the KC defense to lead the way.

Stay with PST for all the latest news and scores from the MLS Playoffs.