If the season ended today - Oct. 7 edition
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
There are just three weeks left in the regular season and it's a wide open chase for the Supporters' Shield.
It is shaping up to be a wild ending to the 2013 MLS regular season as 15 teams continue to vie for the nine remaining playoff spots and five teams are within three points of each other in the chase for the Supporters’ Shield.
Here is how the postseason would look if the season ended today.
In one matchup in the Western Conference Semifinals, it would be a Cascadia clash as Sounders FC would meet the Portland Timbers. Seattle leads the season series at 1-0-1 and the two Northwest rivals face off on Sunday at JELD-WEN Field.
On the other side of the West, the LA Galaxy would host the Colorado Rapids in the first round playoff game. Both teams are on 48 points, but the fourth-seeded Galaxy would host because they win the first tie-breaker (total wins). The winner of the play-in game would advance to face top-seeded Real Salt Lake in the other Western Conference Semifinal series. Salt Lake is one point ahead of Seattle and two points ahead of Portland, but has only two games remaining while Sounders FC has four and the Timbers have three.
San Jose, Vancouver and Dallas are still in the hunt for the final playoff spot, with the Earthquakes four points back, Whitecaps FC six points back and FC Dallas seven points back.
The placement in the West is unchanged, but the East has shifted with wins by Houston, Philadelphia and Kansas City.
New York remained on top in the East with 53 points with a draw against New England, but Sporting Kansas City gained ground with a win over the Columbus Crew. The Red Bulls would face the winner of the first round playoff game between the reeling Montreal Impact and surging Philadelphia Union, who sit at 46 and 45 points, respectively.
Second-seeded Kansas City would have home-field advantage in the other side of the bracket against the Houston Dynamo, who is third with 47 points.
Chicago (43 points), New England (42 points) and Columbus (41 points) are on the outside looking in, but still have a chance to jump into the postseason.
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.
Real Salt Lake (15-10-7; 1 home, 1 away)
Oct. 19 @ Portland
Oct. 23 vs. Chivas USA
Sounders FC (15-9-6; 2 home, 2 away)
Oct. 9 vs. Vancouver
Oct. 13 @ Portland (ESPN)
Oct. 19 @ FC Dallas (NBC Sports)
Oct. 27 vs. LA Galaxy (ESPN)
Portland (12-5-14; 2 home, 1 away)
Oct. 13 vs. Seattle (ESPN)
Oct. 19 vs. Real Salt Lake
Oct. 26 @ Chivas USA
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 (13-9-9; 1 home, 2 away)
Oct. 9 @ San Jose
Oct. 19 vs. Vancouver
Oct. 27 @ Vancouver
San Jose (12-11-8; 2 home, 1 away; 1 CCL)
Oct. 9 vs. Colorado
Oct. 20 @ LA Galaxy (ESPN)
Oct. 23 vs. Heredia; CONCACAF Champions League
Oct. 26 vs. FC Dallas (NBC Sports)
Vancouver (11-11-9; 1 home, 2 away)
Oct. 9 @ Seattle
Oct. 19 @ Colorado
Oct. 27 vs. Colorado
FC Dallas (10-10-11; 2 home, 1 away)
Oct. 12 vs. Chicago
Oct. 19 vs. Seattle (NBC Sports)
Oct. 26 @ San Jose (NBC Sports)