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2012 MLS Standings Week 23: LA Galaxy Close In On Third Place

The LA Galaxy helped their own cause this weekend with a 4-0 drubbing of Chivas USA, and also got some help in their climb toward third place in the Western Conference standings. While a third straight Supporter's Shield seems out of the question, third place would keep the Galaxy from having to play the play-in game to make the playoffs, and keep them from facing current MLS juggernaut San Jose until the Western Conference final.

The gap between fifth and sixth also grew with Chivas losing to the Galaxy, lessening the chance one of the teams currently out of playoff range can make a run. Vancouver was able to defeat Real Salt Lake over the weekend, keeping them in the fourth place spot, but Seattle could not get past San Jose. The results bunched up spots two through five, while putting San Jose even further away from the rest of the pack.

This week the Galaxy face Columbus on Wednesday, meaning they could climb past Seattle and Vancouver into third place as only one point separates the three clubs. They'll have to do it without Landon Donovan, who has been called into national team duty in Mexico City.