Lucas Zelarayan and Alex Ring battle for ball

The Audi MLS Cup Playoffs field is becoming clearer as the race to MLS Decision Day 2020 presented by AT&T, set for Nov. 8, comes into view.

Before delving into specifics, the field has expanded by four teams (from 14) to account for myriad changes imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the Western Conference, the top eight teams will directly qualify to Round 1. Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference’s top six teams will directly qualify to Round 1. Those seeded No. 7-10 will compete in a play-in match, with the lower-seeded play-in winner facing the No. 1 seed and the higher-seeded play-in winner facing the face No. 2 seed.

Sixteen teams have clinched berths, with two spots in the East remaining.  

If the playoffs were to start today, here are the matchups we would see:

Eastern Conference

Play-in games

  • No. 7 New York Re Bulls vs. No. 10 Chicago Fire FC
  • No. 8 Nashville SC vs. No. 9 Montreal Impact

First round

  • No. 1 Philadelphia Union vs. lower seeded play-in winner
  • No. 2 Toronto FC vs. higher seeded play-in winner
  • No. 3 Orlando City SC vs. No. 6 New England Revolution
  • No. 4 Columbus Crew SC vs. No. 5 New York City FC

Western Conference

  • No. 1 Sporting Kansas City vs. No. 8 San Jose Earthquakes
  • No. 2 Portland Timbers vs. No. 7 Colorado Rapids
  • No. 3 Seattle Sounders FC vs. No. 6 LAFC
  • No. 4 FC Dallas FC vs. No. 5 Minnesota United