If the season ended today: October 14 Edition
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
The Sounders are seeking their fifth straight playoff berth, but could see a familiar foe in the postseason.
Just two weeks remain on the MLS regular season calendar and only two teams have clinched spots in the MLS Cup Playoffs. That leaves eight spots open with seven teams in the West and six in the East still vying for a postseason bid.
Here is how the postseason would start if the season ended today.
Sounders FC slipped to the third spot in the West after a loss to the Portland Timbers on Sunday. Seattle would meet No. 2 seed Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinals for the third straight season, with each team winning one series in the past two years. This season Seattle won at CenturyLink Field and RSL won both matches at Rio Tinto Stadium to win the season series 2-1-0.
However, the Sounders aren’t booking plane tickets to Utah just yet. Just two points separate first and third place and, as last week showed, the landscape can change rather quickly.
On the other side of the bracket, Portland would await the winner of the first-round playoff match between the fourth-seeded LA Galaxy and the No. 5 Colorado Rapids at the StubHub Center. Colorado won the season series with the Galaxy at 2-1-0.
San Jose is one point back in sixth place and Vancouver is three points back in seventh.
In the East, Sporting Kansas City joined the New York Red Bulls with postseason berths and the other three spots are still up for grabs.
No. 2 seed Sporting KC would meet the Houston Dynamo in the 2-3 matchup and New York would await the winner of the first round match between the Montreal Impact and Chicago Fire.
Philadelphia is even with Montreal and Chicago on points (46), but trail in the first tie-breaker with 12 wins while the Impact and Fire both have 13. New England is one point back in seventh and the Columbus Crew still have a distant chance at the postseason, five points back of the final spot in eighth.
The first round of playoff games between No. 4 and No. 5 in each conference will be one match hosted by the No. 4 seed. The winners of each conference semifinal series will meet in a two-leg conference final, with the two winners advancing to the MLS Cup final.
Portland (13-5-14; 1 home, 1 away)
Oct. 19 vs. Real Salt Lake
Oct. 26 @ Chivas USA
Real Salt Lake (15-10-7; 1 home, 1 away)
Oct. 19 @ Portland
Oct. 23 vs. Chivas USA
Sounders FC (15-11-6; 1 home, 1 away)
Oct. 19 @ FC Dallas (NBC Sports)
Oct. 27 vs. LA Galaxy (ESPN)
LA Galaxy (14-11-6; 2 home, 1 away; 1 CCL)
Oct. 16 vs. Montreal
Oct. 20 vs. San Jose (ESPN)
Oct. 24 @ Metapan; CONCACAF Champions League
Oct. 27 @ Seattle (ESPN)
Colorado (13-10-9; 1 home, 1 away)
Oct. 19 vs. Vancouver
Oct. 27 @ Vancouver
San Jose (13-11-8; 1 home, 1 away; 1 CCL)
Oct. 20 @ LA Galaxy (ESPN)
Oct. 23 vs. Heredia; CONCACAF Champions League
Oct. 26 vs. FC Dallas (NBC Sports)
Vancouver (12-11-9; 1 home, 1 away)
Oct. 19 @ Colorado
Oct. 27 vs. Colorado