NEWS
09/17/2016 13:07 EDT | Updated 09/18/2017 01:12 EDT

Canadian teams jockeying for position as MLS playoffs loom

With just over a month left in the regular season, Canada's three MLS teams are very much in the playoff picture. 

Toronto FC is in the hunt for its first ever Eastern Conference title while Montreal and Vancouver are fighting for a return to the playoffs.

Let's take a look at the final stretch for each squad: 

Toronto FC

Fresh off making its first ever post-season appearance last year, TFC was left with a bitter after falling to the Impact in the knockout round. But this year, TFC has responded with an excellent 2016 campaign. Heading into this weekend, the Toronto is the top team in the Eastern Conference with 46 points. Reigning MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco is in the midst of another strong season with 16 goals in 26 games. Although it isn't quite Golden-Boot pace, he has scored some astonishing goals.  

Toronto (13-8-7) has only lost once in its last nine outings but only holds a slim two-point lead on first place over the New York Red Bulls. Conveniently, New York, which is unbeaten in its last 11, will battle the Reds this Sunday at BMO Field. 

Toronto could get a boost as Giovinco, the league's third-leading goal scorer, could return to the lineup after missing his team's last match with a muscle strain. With just six games remaining in the regular season, TFC will need its star to be at his best as the race is on for the conference's top spot. 

Montreal Impact 

The Montreal Impact, however, find themselves in a battle just to make the playoffs. Currently in fifth with 38 points, Montreal (9-8-11) currently holds a four point advantage over Orlando City SC, who currently occupy the final playoff spot. 

But the Impact have some decisions to make ahead of Saturday's crucial game against the the seventh-place New England Revolution. Didier Drogba has only one goal in his last seven games and maybe more troubling is that the Impact have only won four of 19 games that the former Chelsea star has played in.

Last year, Drogba contributed 11 goals in 11 games for the Impact but the 38-year-old has only managed nine goals in 19 games in the 2016 campaign.

To make matters worse, the Impact have tough final six games which include matches against TFC, the New York Red Bulls and two tilts against the New England Revolution. 

Vancouver Whitecaps 

With five games remaining in the MLS schedule, the Whitecaps find themselves in unfamiliar territory. Vancouver (9-13-7) has made the playoffs the last two seasons, but with 34 points they sit four points back of a spot in the post-season. Whitecaps play the rival Seattle Sounders, who are just two points behind them in the standings, on Saturday, prompting manager Carl Robinson to call his squad "underdogs in a massive game."

However, Vancouver is coming in on a high note after clinching its first-ever berth in the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final after a thrilling 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday. The Caps have also won four straight games at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, dating back to 2013.