The weekly shakeup of the Western Conference standings was in full effect over the weekend, but the end result saw only one change in positioning, as Real Salt Lake’s 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC coupled with Seattle’s 1-1 draw with overall leaders New York elevated it to even ground with Sounders FC on points. RSL holds the edge on the second tie-breaker, giving them the top spot and setting up a Cascadia showdown in the MLS Cup Playoffs if the season ended today.
RSL holds the top spot at 15-10-6. Though it is even with Seattle on 51 points, and 15 wins, Salt Lake owns the second tie-breaker (goals scored), 54-39, to take over the top position. Seattle is second at 15-8-6 while the Portland Timbers took a stronger hold on third at 12-5-13 with a 1-0 home win over the LA Galaxy. LA remains in the fourth spot at 13-11-6 with the defeat while idle Colorado is in fifth at 12-9-9.
In the first round, LA would host Colorado in a one-game playoff with the winner advancing to play top-seeded RSL. Although the Galaxy hosted two matches against Colorado this season, the Rapids hold the 2-1-0 edge on the season series. Salt Lake, however, lost the season series to Colorado 0-1-2 and to LA 1-2-0.
The other side would pit Seattle against Cascadia foes Portland in the 2 vs. 3 series. Sounders FC is 1-0-1 against the Timbers this season, with the lone road meeting coming at JELD-WEN Field on October 13.
With a win over Chivas USA on Sunday, the San Jose Earthquakes moved one point behind Colorado for the fifth playoff spot at 12-11-8. Vancouver is seventh at 11-11-8 and FC Dallas is eighth at 10-10-10, still just five points behind Colorado for the final playoff spot with four games to play.
In the East, New York remains on top at 15-9-7, now four points ahead of No. 2 Sporting Kansas City, who fell 1-0 to the Philadelphia Union on Friday. That win jumped the Union to fifth at 11-10-9 while draws by the Montreal Impact (13-9-7) and Houston Dynamo (12-10-8) keep them in third and fourth, respectively.
Houston would host Philadelphia in the first round match, the winner advancing to face New York in the Eastern Conference semifinals. On the other side, Kansas City would face Montreal.
The Columbus Crew climbed to sixth, just one point behind Philadelphia with a 4-2 win over FC Dallas while the New England Revolution and Chicago Fire both kept pace with draws against Houston and Montreal, respectively, leaving New England one point back and Chicago two points back.
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 (15-10-6; 2 home, 1 away; 1 Open Cup)
Oct. 1 vs. DC United; US Open Cup final (Gol TV)
Oct. 5 vs. FC Dallas
Oct. 19 @ Portland
Oct. 23 vs. Chivas USA
Sounders FC (15-8-6; 2 home, 3 away)
Oct. 5 @ Colorado (NBC Sports)
Oct. 9 vs. Vancouver
Oct. 13 @ Portland (ESPN)
Oct. 19 @ FC Dallas (NBC Sports)
Oct. 27 vs. LA Galaxy (ESPN)
Portland (12-5-13; 2 home, 2 away)
Oct. 6 @ Vancouver
Oct. 13 vs. Seattle (ESPN)
Oct. 19 vs. Real Salt Lake
Oct. 26 @ Chivas USA
LA Galaxy (13-11-6; 2 home, 2 away; 1 CCL)
Oct. 6 vs. Chivas USA
Oct. 16 vs. Montreal
Oct. 20 vs. San Jose (ESPN)
Oct. 24 @ Metapan; CONCACAF Champions League
Oct. 27 @ Seattle (ESPN)
Colorado (12-9-9; 2 home, 2 away)
Oct. 5 vs. Seattle (NBC Sports)
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 (11-11-8; 2 home, 2 away)
Oct. 6 vs. Portland
Oct. 9 @ Seattle
Oct. 19 @ Colorado
Oct. 27 vs. Colorado
FC Dallas (10-10-10; 2 home, 2 away)
Oct. 5 @ Real Salt Lake
Oct. 12 vs. Chicago
Oct. 19 vs. Seattle (NBC Sports)
Oct. 26 @ San Jose (NBC Sports)