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MLS Playoff race tightens up with two weeks to go


The way the Major League Soccer playoff race has gone in recent weeks you would think some teams don’t want to reach the post season.

Opportunity after opportunity goes wasted by teams fighting for the final three playoff spots. Real Salt Lake, New York, FC Dallas and Colorado all had chances to make a major impact in the playoff race with victories, but all four teams settled for ties or losses. Only Kansas City stepped up with a victory when it needed it, a result that has helped KC climb into a playoff spot with two matches remaining.

Here is how the MLS playoff picture looks heading into the final two weeks of the season:


  • Columbus…………..54 pts
  • Houston—————-44 pts
  • Chicago…………….43 pts
  • New England———–43 pts
  • Chivas USA————42 pts
  • ——————————————
  • Real Salt Lake……..36 pts
  • Kansas City………..36 pts
  • New York…………..36 pts
  • —————————————-
  • FC Dallas…………..35 pts
  • Colorado…………..34 pts
  • D.C. United………..34 pts
  • Los Angeles………..32 pts
  • Toronto FC…………32 pts
  • San Jose……………30 pts

Here is this week’s schedule of matches:

  • Wednesday-San Jose at Houston
  • Thursday– New England at D.C. United
  • Saturday– Chicago Fire at Toronto FC, Columbus Crew at New York Red Bulls, San Jose Earthquakes at Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy at Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake.
  • Sunday– Colorado Rapids at Chivas USA

If you notice, all but one of those eight matches has real playoff implications (Chicago at TFC being the only one that won’t affect playoff qualification).

Red Bulls fans should also know that their team could clinch a playoff berth with a win against Columbus and losses by FC Dallas, D.C. United and Colorado. The losses might happen, but the Red Bulls haven’t won a game in a month and will have to try and beat a Crew squad unbeaten in its past nine matches.

Who will step up? Which team will collapse in the final two weeks? Can the Galaxy rattle off two more wins and sneak into the playoffs? Will the Red Bulls back their way into the playoffs? Will we see five East teams in the playoffs, or five West teams?

Share your thoughts on the MLS playoff race in the comments section below.


  1. Ives – any truth to the rumor that Pachuca is going to get a USL-1 team and build an indoor, 25,000 seat stadium? If that is true, you would think that they would be in the mix for MLS expansion in the next 5 years or so.

  2. Camjam-I wish Toronto would get in the playoffs. I would rather see the Galaxy and Toronto make it in then Dallas,KC,the Rapids or the Red Bulls.

    Why- because their fans care enough to show up on a regular basis and therefore should be rewarded. As a man without a club that’s how I choose who to root for.

  3. But Kevin, if San Jose Does win Wednesday, then their game on Saturday WILL have current implications…. and on the LA note, everybody cares more about LA than they do Toronto. That is just common sense.

  4. “No, he’s right Jason. Technically that one game doesn’t affect qualification, as even if TFC wins, they’re still not in a position to make the playoffs — unless they win their final game. So it doesn’t affect the CURRENT playoffs alignment”

    If that’s true, then what about San Jose vs Houston (Houston is in, San Jose adding 3 pts would still leave them out) and then Houston vs LA (same thing, Houston is in, LA would still be out with a win)

  5. The MLS needs the Galaxy to make the playoffs plain and simple. I could care less about them as I have no club but from both the Beckham thing and 20,000 + his presence guarantees to their horrendous defense that is worth 2 goals a game it is a no brainer that those interested in growth of the league from a visibility standpoint should hope that LA manages to win these last 2 games. Especially now football mania and the World Series are upon us in the U.S.

    The Galaxy are, other than Columbus, the most interesting team to watch because the usually score and they make the opposition’s attack look 5 times more competent then it usually is.

    Yes- Chivas is by far the better club in LA with a much more solid approach and level of professionalism but the fact is they couldn’t draw flies in a desert when it comes to gate and TV audience.

  6. Just to clarify about Red Bulls chances:

    Win – (FCD loss OR RSL loss) AND COL draw or loss AND DC draw or loss.

    Red Bulls will beat out RSL in tiebreakers with each other and any other teams.

  7. Schelotto will continue to play as he returns to health. He won’t go a full 90, but then again, he doesn’t that often anyway.

    I could see some guys sitting if they are close to yellow-card accumulations, but I know Sigi is very intent not to let his foot off the gas – he wants to play hard all the way thru to the Cup.

  8. I wouldn’t expect the Crew to sit Schelotto – if you’ve read any of the local coverage of the team in the past couple weeks, the staff has been quoted talking about being more concerned about getting him ready to go the full 90 in the playoffs than protecting him from further injury. I’d expect to see him play 60-75 minutes.

  9. No, he’s right Jason. Technically that one game doesn’t affect qualification, as even if TFC wins, they’re still not in a position to make the playoffs — unless they win their final game. So it doesn’t affect the CURRENT playoffs alignment

    It may only technically be relevant once the other outcomes are determined.

    QUibbling pt of logic, but there ya go. And I’m a TFC fan

  10. Thanks for this summary. I was looking for something like this on this morning and didn’t see one.

    I’m encouraged by the “wildcard” playoff format as well in ways I did not appreciate last year. This is the perfect balance to the conference play which helps to promote regional rivalries which should be emphasized and encouraged as well (e.g., a few more games against each team’s closest rivals). Good job MLS!

    We will see which clubs step up particularly in the RSL vs. FCD and KC vs. SJ. I agree that Chicago vs. New York could be a very interesting affair.

  11. Ives, you have it wrong on CHI/TFC.

    How can that not affect the playoffs? TFC is NOT eliminated. No one is eliminated.

    All matches this week impact the playoffs, either positioning or qualification.

    Though only two games pits two teams battling for qualification against each other: RSL hosting FCD and SJ at KC.

    In all the others, a qualified team plays a team fighting for qualification.

  12. That’s a great point ultra, I bet they sit Robbie if he plays on Wednesday and Schelotto given that he’s been fighting injuries recently. . If anyone is carrying any kind of knock for Columbus can you really see them letting them play in a meaningless match?

  13. Crew will not mix reserves into the equation unless your talking about a reserve match… Starting XI and some earlier then normal subs will be the only change Sigi will make. Why change direction when things are going right? Rest those that may be injured, but otherwise come out with the same line up that has gone 9 games unbeaten!

  14. If it were up to me I think they should narrow it down to 6 teams this year. Truly only 5 deserve the palyoffs. The rest are just fodder. Ives is right when he says none have stepped up when they needed too. I’d give Houston and Columbus a bye and to decide the 6th spot just have the teams draw straws. They are all just as inept as one another so it doesn’t matter. (I would secretly fix it so LA got in for 2 reasons – they are the most entertaining team left and to hear all whining about how the league fixed it for them again)

    That’s jsut if it was up to me….

  15. This only shows that this playoffs system rocks, it adds meaning to both conferences (single table format for wildcard spot). The next games should be very interesting judging by the amount of ties this week. How much would it suck if any other team upsets Columbus in the playoffs?


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