MLS Playoffs: Breaking down the Eastern Conference outlook in 2019

Taty Castellanos - New York City FC – Auro – Toronto FC

We're approaching the homestretch of the 2019 MLS regular season, culminating on Decision Day presented by AT&T. With less than a month left in the season slate, let's take a look at the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs prospects among the Eastern Conference teams:

RELATED:Seedings and playoff brackets if the playoffs started today...

1. New York City FC

54 PTS15W - 5L - 9D+18 GD
Remaining Matches (5): Sept 14 vs. SJ; Sept 22 at DAL; Sept 25 vs. ATL; Sept 29 at NE; Oct 6 at PHI
If the playoffs started today: Round 1 bye
Wednesday's lone game in the East saw New York City FC draw Toronto, extending their lead atop the conference. A point at home is a fine result given the club were without Heber, Maxi Moralez, James Sands, Alexander Callens and Maxime Chanot. Now level on games play with Philly, the run-in to Decision Day for the first-round bye and home-field advantage will be fun.  

2. Philadelphia Union

51 PTS15W - 8L - 6D+12 GD
Remaining Matches (5): Sept 14 vs. LAFC; Sept 22 at RBNY; Sept 25 at SJ; Sept 29 at CLB; Oct 6 vs. NYC
If the playoffs started today: Host Round 1 match
Sitting idle after their statement win over Atlanta, the Philadelphia Union fell to second place over the weekend. With games against LAFC, RBNY, San Jose and NYCFC remaining, the Union have plenty more huge games to come before the playoffs. It should serve as a good dress-rehearsal. First up is the Supporters' Shield leaders on Saturday. 

3. Atlanta United

48 PTS15W - 10L - 3D+14 GD
Remaining Matches (6): Sept 14 vs. CLB; Sept 18 at CIN; Sept 21 vs. SJ; Sept 25 at NYC; Sept 29 at MTL; Oct 6 vs. NE
If the playoffs started today: Host Round 1 match
What will two weeks of much-needed rest do for Atlanta United? The reigning champs were in great form over a jam-packed August. But since being idle, they've slipped six points behind NYCFC, albeit with a game in hand. They still face the Cityzens before the end of the season, which could go a long way in deciding first place in the East. 

4. Toronto FC

42 PTS11W - 10L - 9D+3 GD
Remaining Matches (4): Sept 15 vs. COL; Sept 21 at LAFC; Sept 29 at CHI; Oct 6 vs. CLB
If the playoffs started today: Host Round 1 match
A road point against NYCFC was enough to lift TFC into fourth place, angling for a home playoff game in the first round of the playoffs. Three of their remaining four matches come against teams below the playoff line, giving them the inside track to hold onto fourth, even though the Red Bulls are just a point behind with a game in hand. 

5. D.C. United

42 PTS11W - 10L - 9D+1 GD
Remaining Matches (4): Sept 15 at POR; Sept 22 vs. SEA; Sept 29 at RBNY; Oct 6 vs. CIN
If the playoffs started today: Away Round 1 match
Trailing Toronto only on goal difference, D.C. United are still alive to host a first round playoff game. They also had the weekend off and will hope to be recharged while still carryingthe momentum of their huge 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact last time out. What does Wayne Rooney have in store for his final ride with D.C.?

6. New York Red Bulls

41 PTS12W - 12L - 5D+3 GD
Remaining Matches (5): Sept 15 at SEA; Sept 18 at POR; Sept 22 vs. PHI; Sept 29 vs. DC; Oct 6 at MTL
If the playoffs started today: Away Round 1 match
Like D.C., the New York Red Bulls also have had a slip in form. They also have Seattle and Portland upcoming on the schedule. The two-week break came at a good time for the club, who hit a 2019 nadir with a lackluster 2-0 home loss to Colorado. Perhaps a little time away from each other will refresh the squad to recapture a bit of last year's magic, but they're in danger of falling further down the standings. 

7. New England Revolution

39 PTS10W - 10L - 9D-7 GD
Remaining Matches (5): Sept 14 at ORL; Sept 21 vs. RSL; Sept 25 at POR; Sept 29 vs. NYC; Oct 6 at ATL
If the playoffs started today: Away Round 1 match
With one win in their last six, the Revs are suddenly looking back at the playoff line, now just two points ahead of the Impact. They do have a game in hand. It's a vital match against Orlando this weekend, particularly with their final four games coming against teams above the playoff line. 

8. Montreal Impact

37 PTS11W - 15L - 4D-14 GD
Remaining Matches (4): Sept 14 vs. CIN; Sept 21 at LA; Sept 29 vs. ATL; Oct 6 vs. RBNY
If the playoffs started today: Out of playoffs
The Impact's slide continued with a gut-wrenching 3-0 home shellacking by D.C before a weekend off. Now with just four games left, how many will Montreal need to win to get back above the line? Three? All four? Time is running out for Wilmer Cabrera and co. 

9. Orlando City SC

35 PTS9W - 13L - 8D-4 GD
Remaining Matches (4): Sept 14 vs. NE; Sept 21 at HOU; Sept 29 at CIN; Oct 6 vs. CHI
If the playoffs started today: Out of playoffs
After a draw against LAFC last weekend, a fine result in a vacuum though time is running out to get above the playoff line, Orlando City have a manageable schedule. Saturday is a win-or-go-home match against the Revs. A win would pull Orlando within a point of the playoff line, with matches against three teams currently below the playoff line. It's not over for OCSC. 

10. Chicago Fire

34 PTS8W - 12L - 10D+1 GD
Remaining Matches (4): Sept 14 vs. DAL; Sept 21 at CIN; Sept 29 vs. TOR; Oct 6 at ORL
If the playoffs started today: Out of playoffs
The Chicago Fire are still clinging to hope after a late equalizer against the Crew, but, it's not looking great for their quest to jump three teams and make the playoffs. Four wins out of four is probably necessary to be in the conversation. 

11. Columbus Crew SC

31 PTS8W - 15L - 7D-11 GD
Remaining Matches (4): Sept 14 at ATL; Sept 21 at VAN; Sept 29 vs. PHI; Oct 6 at TOR
If the playoffs started today: Out of playoffs
It's all about next season for Columbus Crew SC, who are putting together a little bit of momentum and deciding who stays and who goes during their rebuild. Luis Diaz and Eloy Room are looking like great summer signings thus far. 

12. FC Cincinnati

18 PTS5W - 21L - 3D-43 GD
Remaining Matches (5): Sept 14 at MTL; Sept 18 vs. ATL; Sept 21 vs. CHI; Sept 29 vs. ORL; Oct 6 at DC
If the playoffs started today: Out of playoffs
The losses are piling up, but it's all about the future for FC Cincinnati. Just like the Crew, it's about finding out who is part of the core moving forward and who isn't. Five more games in 2019 to add to the data points, as well as familiarize the squad to Ron Jans' tactics and culture.