Playoff Scenarios

2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs: How the Eastern, Western Conference fields are shaping up

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