On MLS season’s final day, all 11 games will matter for the playoffs
The Union still control their playoff destiny as they head into the final week of the season – but not by much.
The Union still control their playoff destiny as they head into the final week of the season — but not by much.
Thanks to all the other results Sunday, the Union can still clinch their first home playoff berth in seven years with a win Sunday at New York City FC. And if they get it, they'll finish third in the Eastern Conference no matter what happens in other games.
If the Union tie NYCFC, they'd need D.C. United to lose at Chicago to finish fourth. If both those things happen and Columbus beats Minnesota, the Union and Crew would both have 51 points, but the Union would have the first tiebreaker of total wins.
If the Union lose, D.C. wins or ties, and Columbus wins, the Union would finish sixth and head back to Yankee Stadium on Oct. 31 or Nov. 1 to face NYCFC in the first round of the playoffs.
If the Union and D.C. lose and Columbus wins, the Union would finish fifth and go to Columbus. (And D.C. would play New York, giving us a Wayne Rooney vs. David Villa showdown.)
Add up all the scenarios, and the Union can finish anywhere from third to sixth. The results laid out above are just a few of the possible ones out there.
Here's a look at the past week's results, and what's to come this week.
Home teams listed first.
Orlando City 1, Seattle Sounders 2 (Seattle clinched a playoff berth)
D.C. United 1, Toronto FC 0
Vancouver 1, Sporting Kansas City 4
Real Salt Lake 4, New England Revolution 1
D.C. United 3, New York City FC 1 (D.C. clinched a playoff berth)
Orlando City 2, Columbus Crew 1
Union 0, New York Red Bulls 1
Montreal Impact 2, Toronto FC 0
Atlanta United 2, Chicago Fire 1 (Atlanta clinched a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League for having the best regular season record over the last two years combined)
FC Dallas 0, Sporting Kansas City 3
Los Angeles FC 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (Vancouver was eliminated from playoff contention)
Portland Timbers 3, Real Salt Lake 0 (Portland clinched a playoff berth)
Houston Dynamo 2, Seattle Sounders 3
Minnesota United 1, Los Angeles Galaxy 3
San Jose Earthquakes 0, Colorado Rapids 0
Eastern Conference standings
Teams are listed with their total points, then the first three tiebreakers in order: wins, goal difference and goals scored. All teams except Real Salt Lake have played 33 games (RSL has played 34).
Clinched a first-round bye
1. Atlanta United: 69 points, 21 wins, +29 GD, 67 GS
2. New York Red Bulls: 68 points, 21 wins, +28 GD, 61 GS
Clinched a playoff berth
3. New York City FC: 53 points, 15 wins, +12 GD, 56 GS
4. Union: 50 points, 15 wins, +1 GD, 48 GS
5. D.C. United: 50 points, 14 wins, +10 GD, 60 GS
6. Columbus Crew: 48 points, 13 wins, -3 GD, 40 GS
7. Montreal Impact: 46 points, 14 wins, -5GD, 47 GS
8. New England Revolution: 38 points
9. Toronto FC: 33 points
10. Chicago Fire: 31 points
11. Orlando City: 28 points
Western Conference standings
Clinched a playoff berth
1. Sporting Kansas City: 59 points, 17 wins, +24 GD, 63 GS
2. Los Angeles FC: 57 points, 16 wins, +17 GD, 67 GS
3. FC Dallas: 57 points, 16 wins, +9 GD, 51 GS
4. Seattle Sounders: 56 points, 17 wins, +14 GD, 50 GS
5. Portland Timbers: 54 points, 15 wins, +7 GD, 53 GS
6. Real Salt Lake: 49 points, 14 wins, -3 GD, 55 GS
7. Los Angeles Galaxy: 48 points, 13 wins, +3 GD, 64 GS
8. Vancouver Whitecaps: 44 points
9. Minnesota United: 36 points
10. Houston Dynamo: 35 points
11. Colorado Rapids: 28 points
12. San Jose Earthquakes: 21 points
This week’s games
All games kick off at 4:45 p.m. Eastern. Games not on local or national TV can be watched via ESPN+.
New York City FC vs. Union (PHL17): New York still has just two wins in 11 games since the start of August, but it has won 11 of its 16 home games this season. All eyes will be on City playmaker Maxi Moralez, who missed the loss at D.C. with a leg injury.
Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United: As spectacular as D.C.'s sprint up the standings has been, it's got an asterisk: 12 of the team's last 15 games have been at home. D.C. has just one road win all year, and it came back in April.
Columbus Crew vs. Minnesota United: It's the Crew's first home game since they were saved, which should make for a wild atmosphere. But if Montreal wins and Columbus doesn't, the Crew will miss the playoffs — which means this could be Gregg Berhalter's last game as Crew manager. He's still the favorite to be the U.S. men's national team's next head coach.
New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact: The most dramatic scenario would be if Montreal wins and Columbus ties. The Impact would jump over the Crew on the first tiebreaker.
Toronto FC vs. Atlanta United: When the schedule came out, this was clearly set up to be a heavyweight bout. But seemingly everything that could go wrong for Toronto did. Now all Toronto can do is try to spoil Atlanta's shot at the Supporters' Shield.
New York Red Bulls vs. Orlando City: If Atlanta loses and the Red Bulls steal first, they'd win their third Shield in six years (after 2013 and 2015). It would surely be their most impressive, given Jesse Marsch's midseason departure to Germany's RB Leipzig.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Los Angeles FC (Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes): The winner wins the West. A tie gives it to Kansas City. If LAFC finishes third, it could face the Galaxy in the playoffs. Don't get your hopes up, though — as you'll see below, the odds are slim.
Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo: Zlatan would go to the playoffs with a victory. But not with a tie: Real Salt Lake would keep sixth place on total wins.
Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas: This is where the El Trafico dream starts to get stuck in … well … you know. The Rapids are dreadful, and Dallas should be stinging from the loss to Kansas City.
Seattle Sounders vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Seattle's latest invention might be denying us a LAFC-Galaxy playoff game. The Sounders would jump at least one team above them with a win over MLS' worst team. And if Dallas loses, the Sounders would get a first-round bye.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Portland Timbers: Portland can't finish worse than fifth, but can finish as high as third with a win and help. It's possible to have Sounders-Timbers and LAFC-Galaxy matchups in the playoffs, but it would take a superfecta: Portland and Dallas winning and Seattle and LAFC losing.