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Real Salt Lake clinches improbable playoff spot as TFC, D.C. and Dallas fall short


Of the six teams still trying to qualify for the MLS playoffs heading into Saturday's action, Real Salt Lake had the longest odds of actually making it. RSL needed to win its regular season finale and have three other teams drop points in order to qualify for the post-season.

That's exactly what happened.

Losses by Toronto FC and FC Dallas, coupled with a D.C. United draw, gave RSL a chance to qualify and Jason Kreis' team took full advantage, beating the Colorado Rapids, 3-0, to earn a second straight trip to the playoffs.

New England can clinch the final MLS playoff berth with a win or tie today vs. the Columbus Crew, while a Revs loss means the Colorado Rapids would reach the playoffs.

Saturday was a supremely disappointing night for Toronto FC, which would have made the playoffs with a win vs. New York, but fell flat in a 5-0 drubbing to the Red Bulls. D.C. United saw its playoff hopes ultimately dashed by a penalty call in second-half stoppage time that Kansas City converted for a 2-2 tie.

Today's two MLS matches will help finalize the MLS playoff match-ups, as Chivas USA and Houston battle for second place in the West. A tie in that match would make Seattle the No. 2 seed in the West, and would set up an LA Galaxy-Chivas USA first-round playoff series.

In the East, if New England wins or ties today, the Revs will face the Chicago Fire in the first round, while the Columbus Crew would face Real Salt Lake. If New England loses, then Real Salt Lake would meet Chicago and the Colorado Rapids would face the Crew.

What did you think of Saturday night's results? Still shocked that Real Salt Lake qualified for the playoffs? Wondering what went wrong with Toronto FC? Think New England can step up and get the point it needs to qualify?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. qwest is only going to go to about 36k for thursday, it is too difficult to go to 68k in 5 days of ticket sales

    drew carey came into the main supporters bar before the game and made it an open bar for 30-45 minutes before the march to the match

    thank you

    jameson n coke was very tasty

  2. They took the whole concept of the organization from barcalona….actually pretty cool, i know Drew Carey (part owner) is a huge fan of barcalona.

  3. i love the Seattle organization! check out their videos:
    1. Thank you for Giving us your full 90
    2. Freddy Ljundberg y Keller signing @home depot – check out the ANDRE THE GIANT bodyguard next to Freddy!

    seriously this is why i like this organization, and no none can deny that. u might not like the team or the city, but u gotta admire how this organization works, and esp. how they interact with their fans.

  4. Houston beats Chivas USA 3-2

    New England beats Columbus 1-0

    West Playoffs:

    1. Los Angeles vs. 4. Chivas USA

    2. Houston vs. 3. Seattle

    East Playoffs:

    1. Columbus vs. 4. Real Salt Lake

    2. Chicago vs. 3. New England

  5. I hate Gillette. It’s outside mass transit range, there’s no grass, and of course, it’s not soccer specific. And, Bob Kraft has no intention of changing any of that. I hope MLS makes him.

  6. single table race would have been amazing this year.

    mls cup would still be just as exciting/interesting regardless of single table IMO. mabye give top 7 finishers qualification into the cup. and to throw a little wild card in there give the us open cup champion an invitation if they are not part of the to 7.

  7. Ives i don’t disagree, TFC does have a talented roster. However, it’s not really a collection of players who come together as a team.

    The inability to build a balanced and talented roster is what makes me think that any coach that comes here is simply going to leave in fustration .

    Cummins quit today btw … according to the fan590 in toronto.

  8. You weren’t their in 2005, 2006 and some of 2007 then…I was a season ticket holder for four years…we won 5 games in all of 2005 (5-22-5)….my daughter and I went to every single game because we loved the club and the sport, but knew were going to lose…

  9. Not shocked that RSL made it. When so many teams are so closely packed together, anything can happen. I am shocked that TFC decided not to show up with so much on the line. I guess they assumed they’d have an easy time of it.

  10. GJ,
    It is a blog and I think statements from different perspectives are the nature of the beast so don’t be to hard on “those guys”. But I do concur it is a great weekend for MLS and it would be alright for fans to acknowledge that instead of searching for something to complain about.

  11. Every team except 3 in the league were in playoff contention going into the final weekend. I think that makes for a great league. Fans for every club have something to look forward to for next season and long term I think that makes for a strong well supported league.

  12. All you guys talk too much, all I know is that last night was one of the best day for MLS. I saw both the RSL vs Rapids game and Sounders vs Dallas game, they were both great games. And qwest field looked and sounded great and this is coming from a Crew fan.

  13. LOL @ DEX. I feel really bad for the DC fans. I watched the game last night and I thought they had it. I’m a Crew fan and I was looking forward to facing DC in the playoffs to get some revenge from all of those years of DC emilinating the Crew from the playoffs. Maybe next year DC.

  14. I agree. I didn’t think it was something to benefit the east. Remember who won the western conference last year? I just think it happens to be unlucky/unfair for the top west teams.
    I think single table is the obvious answer to all these problems. With an even home/away schedule next year it’s a perfect time to do it.

  15. Well, since no one else is talking about it, I must say that last night at Qwest was a memorable one. Not only did the Sounders get a big win to close out the season, but the team unveiled a permanent display outside the stadium that has the names of all the season ticket holders on it.

    The fans also honored Charlie Davies in the ninth minute by holding up “9” signs, and we set the MLS regular season attendance record.

    Definitely a night to remember. Now on to the playoffs. GO SOUNDERS!

  16. What went wrong with TFC … Mo Johnston Ives … Mo F’n Johnston.

    (SBI-Toronto FC has a bunch of talent, but it’s clear Chris Cummins didn’t have the team in the right frame of mind for that game. If TFC gets the right head coach in there, I like their chances to do some damage next year.)

  17. Way to go Chad, you’re still pathetic like you were with the Fire. Serious consideration of another professional endeavor is in order. And there were Fire supporters who were actually sad he left the team and thought McBride was worthless. Where are they now?

  18. I think you are overlooking a few things:
    1) RSL is 9-5-1 at home. Neither Chicago nor Columbus will be looking forward to a 1st leg at Rio Tinto.

    2) Colorado lost their series to both Chicago and Columbus. New England lost their series to Chicago on aggregate 3-2. RSL lost their series to Chicago on aggregate 2-1, but won their series against Columbus 5-4. I think Columbus would prefer a first round against Colorado instead of RSL.

  19. It’s not like the Fire and Crew are chump change teams. The lopsided playoff qualification is fair to those west coast teams beyond the top 4, but it causes their placement within the playoff structure to be arbitrary, when the playoffs were set up as an East v West tournament, as Lou states. It’s not some conspiracy to benefit the East, it’s just a flaw in having an American Conference system, while trying to overcome some of the unfairness that is inherent.

    ie, without this qualification system, Toronto and DC United would have qualified instead of RSL and Col.

    So, it might just be another argument for single table, seeing as how it wouldn’t have effected the playoff contenders, just their seeding.

  20. Having spent many a cold wet wind swept night in Rice Ecles stadium watching RSL lose game after game in the first four years of the franchise it’s nice to see them getting a break like this. Even if living in California now I can’t see the games in person anymore. They deserve it. A lot of really nice guys on the team who have worked hard. None more than Andy “Bama” Williams and what he has gone through. AS for the MLS playoffs what a mess. Who ever thought up this system must have been drinking when they did.

  21. As a Chicago fan, New England would be the easier match-up but if the Revs lose then there will be only two non-soccer specific stadiums in the playoffs. I have no problem with Qwest because the Seattle fans fill it up and it looks and sounds great on tv. Houston also draws enough fans but the field surface could have football lines or be torn up. New Englands surface will most definitely have football lines.

    The eastern leaders get a break over the western leaders in that they get to play a team with less points even though they’re in a different conference.

  22. Or rather, the players weren’t as bad as their coaching suggested under JCO. Not every player on the Red Bulls is a bona-fide MLS starter, but they’re all competent professionals who’d been incompetently coached. Glad to see Williams put a stop to that, and I hope he gets the gig on a full-time basis.

  23. GO RSL!
    I agree with what someone said on the MLS thread from last night. (pasted below) Even though the East is the weaker conference, they’re getting the benefit instead of the west.

    Rob said:
    “This playoff system seeding is stupid. If New England loses the playoff seeding is definitely unfair for the Western Conference Champions when the Western Conference was the better Conference. Instead Eastern Conference gets the benefit of not being as good because the bottom two teams from the Western Conference shift to the Eastern Conference. Los Angeles and Seattle who both have better records then Chicago have to play either Houston or Chivas who have the same record as Chicag0, instead Los Angeles and Seattle should be able to play Real Salt Lake or Colorado. More reasons to just switch to a single table.”


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