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MLS playoff field set


With the New York Red Bulls securing the final MLS playoff spot, the MLS playoff field is now set.

Here are the match-ups:

Eastern Conference

  • (1) Columbus Crew vs. (4) Kansas City Wizards
  • (2) Chicago Fire vs. (3) New England Revolution

Western Conference

  • (1) Houston Dynamo vs. (4) New York Red Bulls
  • (2) Chivas USA vs. (3) Real Salt Lake

The action starts Thursday, with the Chicago Fire traveling to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Revolution. The other three playoff series take place on Saturday at the site of the lower seeds.

Check SBI all week for playoff coverage. For now, feel free to share your initial thoughts on the MLS playoffs in the comments section below.


  1. With the Fire back on form, the Crew-Fire Eastern final ought to be one for the ages. But how can you not pick the Dynamo to win it all?

    Oh and Tom, funny stuff about the Crew being MLS Champs already. Or was that not your intention?

  2. While I think the crossover idea isn’t a bad idea (since we’re stuck with the playoffs, let’s try to get the actual eight best teams in), maybe the team having to crossover should lose its home leg? One of these days we’re going to end up with a west coast – east coast crossover (like LA-DC or SJ-NE) and even if the #1 seed wins they’ve endured far more travel in the playoffs than anyone else which hardly seems fair.

  3. I think all of us regulars on the SOCCER BY IVES board should now take the time to congratulate the Columbus Crew on their 2008 MLS title. What a fantastic effort by the most well rounded team I can remember in MLS History. CONGTULATIONS!!!!!

    Let’s hope they do as well in this mini League Cup tournament at the end of season that we Americans call the playoffs. What a travesty if they don’t win it and instead are remembered only as the Supporters Shield Winners.It would be an insult to them as it was to D.C. last year and a blight on the traditions of the game.

  4. Answer: If the Red Bulls win the west bend over and kiss your a$$ good bye because there would be no surer sign the world is gonna end!

    On a serious note anyone picking against Houston to three-peat is a damn fool. Columbus and Chicago might be able to give them a run in MLS Cup but otherwise this is just a Champions League 1/4final tune-up for the orange.

    (and I’m no Houston fan!)

  5. joe k- “maybe the red bulls can finally win something: the western conference champs!”

    eh that would require them to win on the road…

  6. NE and chicago- most interesting (despite my bias opinion)… Most history… biggest rivalry… deemed worthy of that wonderful prime time spot 😀

    i think the houston and redbulls game could be fun… coming from a Fire fan’s stand point 😛

  7. My picks:

    Crew over Wizards

    ——————– Crew over Fire

    Fire over Revs

    ———————————– Crew beat Salt Lake for the MLS Cup

    Dynamo over Red Bulls

    ———————– Salt Lake upsets Houston

    Salt Lake over Chivas

  8. Crew v. KC seems obvious (Crew will take it) and Houston looks too solid to lose…even after a ginger anomaly botched the Dynamo’s season closer. Yeah, Red Bull New York has the bounce-tastic turf working in their favor, but….meh. RSL v. Chivas strikes me as the most fascinating of the bunch: the inexplicably bloodied and tired Chivas facing that feisty team from Utah who can’t shoot straight….till the 90th, anyway. I say that one has potential…

    Then again, NE v. Chicago may offer something, albeit more dramatic than competitive…like the complete psychic meltdown of New England. Seriously, what the hell was Khano Smith thinking? I think the prickling sense that last year was their best, last chance stings the back of the Revolution players these days – the older guys, especially.

    As for the post-season as a whole, though, all the teams seem a bit cashed out. I’m not getting a storming vibe from anyone – Houston comes closest for my money, but that’s not so much a vibe as the sense that – what the hell? – who else is gonna do it, y’know? It could be good – and I hope it will be – but it could be another Orange Coronation as well.

  9. On a tangent, Diego Guttierrez is still playing, but other players (like Bobby Rhine and Greg Vanney) have officially finished their MLS careers. Ives, if the opportunity comes up (such as a slow week or something), would you be able to do brief profiles of the MLS players that retired this season?

  10. Any fan of the league should understand the playoff system by now but I realized I probably came off as abrasive, I was just joking around.

    Basically, the league realized that by having the same amount of teams making the playoffs from the east and west every year meant that some crappy teams made the playoffs. This new system simply ensures that, aside from the division winners, the best teams make the playoffs each year.

    My bad on being kind of a jerk…it was unintentional for once.

  11. Ivan, you’re only missing something if you have no idea whatsoever how the MLS playoff system works.

    The most interesting matchup has to be Chicago vs. NE. The second might just be Houston vs. NY. The key word being interesting, not best.


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