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New York City FC will have a chance to defend their MLS Cup title this fall, locking in an Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs spot before playing their own Week 33 match.

They've joined the Philadelphia Union, CF Montréal and New York Red Bulls as four of seven Eastern Conference teams that’ll play into mid-October or beyond.

Playoff history, key pieces

The Cityzens beat the Portland Timbers on penalty kicks for the league title a year ago, their first-ever trophy since a 2015 expansion journey began. They’ve already added more silverware this campaign, lifting the Campeones Cup over Liga MX’s Atlas FC.

NYCFC have now made the postseason seven years running, one of the league’s longest-consecutive streaks. Before last year's MLS Cup run, they'd won just one playoff round.

NYCFC, who made the Concacaf Champions League semifinals this year, have looked dominant at times. But with the midseason departure of head coach Ronny Deila to Belgium’s Standard Liege and star striker Taty Castellanos getting loaned to LaLiga sister side Girona, dips in form have come around too.

Looking to turn the page under interim head coach Nick Cushing, NYCFC’s core runs from US international goalkeeper Sean Johnson and Peru international center back Alex Callens to Argentine playmaker Maxi Moralez and Brazilian young star Talles Magno.

Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs

MLS Cup 2022 is set for Nov. 5, while the playoffs will get underway Oct. 15 with Round One games (the top seed in each conference gets a bye).

The timeline takes into consideration the FIFA 2022 World Cup starting Nov. 20 in Qatar, rather than during the event’s typical summer months.