With two weekends left to play, the last MLS Cup Playoff spot is still available, and only two teams have a chance at grabbing it - the MetroStars and the Kansas City Wizards. The Chicago Fire became the seventh team to qualify for the 2005 MLS Cup Playoffs on Wednesday night when they came back from a two-goal deficit against the MetroStars to earn a 2-2 tie at Soldier Field. Click here for the complete standings.
The Fire return to the playoffs after missing out last season and join New England and D.C. United in the Eastern Conference Semifinals Series. FC Dallas jumped over the Galaxy and into second place in the Western Conference on Wednesday night courtesy of a Ramon Nuñez in injury-time goal that gave his team a 2-1 win over the visiting Columbus Crew at Pizza Hut Park. Columbus joined Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA as teams eliminated from the postseason.
Kansas City has the upper hand on the MetroStars for the last spot and can potentially secure their place on Saturday.
What follows are the scenarios in play ahead of action on October 8:
San Jose Earthquakes can clinch the Supporters' Shield with:
(a) A win or tie vs. Real Salt Lake
(b) A New England tie or loss vs. Kansas City
Kansas City Wizards can clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs with:
(a) A win vs. New England AND a MetroStars loss or tie vs. D.C. United
New England Revolution can clinch the # 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with:
(a) A win vs. Kansas City AND a D.C. United tie or loss vs. the MetroStars
2005 MLS CUP PLAYOFFS
At the end of the season four teams qualify from each conference and advance to the home-and-home, aggregate goal MLS Cup Conference Semifinals (No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3). The two teams left standing in each conference will meet in the single-elimination Conference Championships with the winners advancing to MLS Cup 2005 at Pizza Hut Park on Nov. 13 (live on ABC Sports at 3:30 p.m. ET).
Tickets to MLS Cup 2005 will go on sale to the public on October 15. For more information please visit www.FCDallas.net or call 1-888-FCD- GOAL (1-888-323-4625).