Playoff Scenarios: The possibilities of Week 32 (UPDATED)

RBNY defender Rafa Marquez

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

It’s all coming down to the wire.

Nine teams have clinched playoff berths, and there is one spot left. At this point, there are three teams -- New York, Portland, and Chicago -- still alive for that final berth.

Plus, many teams already with a ticket to the postseason are vying for critical seeding, especially out in the East, where first place is still up for grabs.

Here’s how things could shake out.

 

MLS Cup Playoffs clinching scenarios

New York Red Bulls clinch a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • they defeat or tie Philadelphia Union (Oct 20)

OR

  • they lose to Philadelphia Union (Oct 20) AND
  • Portland Timbers lose to or tie Real Salt Lake (Oct 22) AND
  • Chicago Fire fail to win by a large enough margin to overcome goal differential with New York (currently 5 goals) (Oct 22)

Portland Timbers clinch a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF:

  • they defeat Real Salt Lake (Oct 22) AND
  • New York Red Bulls lose to Philadelphia Union (Oct 20)

Chicago Fire clinch a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF:

  • they defeat Columbus Crew (Oct 22) AND
  • Portland Timbers tie or lose to Real Salt Lake (Oct 22) AND
  • New York Red Bulls lose to Philadelphia Union (Oct 20) AND
  • Chicago overcome a goal difference with New York (currently 5 goals)

MLS Cup Playoffs seeding scenarios

Sporting Kansas City clinch first place in the Eastern Conference IF:

  • they defeat D.C. United (Oct 22) AND
  • Philadelphia Union tie or lose to New York Red Bulls (Oct 20)

Philadelphia Union clinch first place in the Eastern Conference IF:

  • they defeat New York Red Bulls (Oct 20) AND
  • Sporting Kansas City tie or lose to D.C. United (Oct 22)

IF: Sporting Kansas City AND Philadelphia Union BOTH WIN

OR

IF: Sporting Kansas City AND Philadelphia Union BOTH TIE AND

  • Columbus Crew lose to Chicago Fire (Oct 22)
  • THEN: season goal differential is first tiebreaker, followed by total goals scored (KC-PHI head-to-head is 0-0-2)

Columbus Crew clinch first place in the Eastern Conference IF:

  • they defeat Chicago Fire (Oct 22) AND
  • BOTH Sporting Kansas City AND Philadelphia Union tie and/or lose

OR

  • they tie Chicago Fire (Oct 22) AND
  • BOTH Sporting Kansas City AND Philadelphia Union lose AND
  • Houston Dynamo tie or lose

Columbus Crew clinch second place in the Eastern Conference IF:

  • they tie Chicago Fire AND
  • BOTH Sporting Kansas City AND Philadelphia Union lose AND
  • Houston Dynamo defeat LA Galaxy (Oct 23) 

Houston Dynamo clinch third place in the Eastern Conference IF:

  • they defeat LA Galaxy (Oct 23) AND
  • Columbus Crew tie or lose to Chicago Fire (Oct 20)

IF: FC Dallas AND Real Salt Lake BOTH WIN or BOTH TIE or BOTH LOSE

  • Real Salt Lake will clinch third place in the Western Conference