If the season ended today (Oct. 21 Edition)
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
Seattle took two out of three against the Colorado Rapids this season and would face them in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs if the current position holds.
The MLS Cup Playoff picture is nearly set, but there is still plenty to play for across the board in the final week of the regular season as teams jockey for position entering the postseason. Sounders FC is right in the thick of the action after clinching the club’s fifth consecutive playoff berth over the weekend.
Here is how the postseason would start if the season ended today.
Only three points separates first from fifth and Seattle is still in the hunt for home field advantage with 51 points at 15-12-6.
Sounders FC would host the fifth-seeded Colorado Rapids (14-10-9, 51 points) in the first round, playing one game at CenturyLink Field to earn the chance to face the No. 1 Portland Timbers in the Western Conference Semifinals. Seattle holds the first tie-breaker against Colorado (wins) so while they are even on points, Sounders FC has the edge in the standings.
The Timbers are 13-5-15 (54 points) and finish the regular season on the road on Saturday against Chivas USA. Chivas will be coming off of a mid-week game against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL is currently second in the West at 15-10-8 (53 points) and would hold home-field advantage in the Western Conference Semifinals against the LA Galaxy (15-11-7, 52 points).
The San Jose Earthquakes still have not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but would need to win over FC Dallas on Saturday and outscore the Rapids by 13 goals in order to pass Colorado into fifth in the West.
In the East, only two teams are locked into the postseason, as the New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City punched their playoff tickets.
In the 4-5 match, the Chicago Fire (14-12-7, 49 points) would host the New England Revolution (13-11-9, 48 points) in the one-game First Round matchup. Chicago has the same record as the Montreal Impact (14-12-7, 49 points), but Montreal holds the second tie-breaker over the Fire, with 50 goals on the season to 45 for Chicago. The winner of the Chicago-New England match would meet No. 1 ranked New York (16-9-8, 56 points) in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
On the other side of the bracket, Sporting KC (16-10-7, 55 points) would hold home-field advantage over the Impact.
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 (13-5-15; 1 away)
Oct. 26 @ Chivas USA
Real Salt Lake (15-10-8; 1 home)
Oct. 23 vs. Chivas USA
LA Galaxy (15-11-7; 1 away; 1 CCL)
Oct. 24 @ Metapan; CONCACAF Champions League
Oct. 27 @ Seattle (ESPN)
Sounders FC (15-12-6; 1 home)
Oct. 27 vs. LA Galaxy (ESPN)
Colorado (14-10-9; 1 away)
Oct. 27 @ Vancouver
San Jose (13-11-9; 1 home; 1 CCL)
Oct. 23 vs. Heredia; CONCACAF Champions League
Oct. 26 vs. FC Dallas (NBC Sports)