7:48 PM ET
What a day, folks. What. A. Day.
The New York Red Bulls won their third Supporters' Shield in six years and set the all-time single-season MLS points record, but I'll always remember 2018 MLS Decision Day presented by AT&T for the collapses. This was a rough, rough Sunday, with the LA Galaxy and Atlanta United (and FC Dallas and LAFC, to a lesser extent) gave it away in their regular-season finales.
LA's collapse was stunning. The Galaxy needed a win against a Houston team that was 2-10-4 since the midway point and 1-10-5 on the road in 2018 to qualify for the playoffs. They took an early 2-0 advantage. It looked like they had it in the bag. And then they fell asleep. LA gave up three second-half goals to blow their lead, lose 3-2 and shockingly miss the playoffs, putting a brutally disappointing end on a largely miserable season. RSL were the beneficiaries, holding on to the sixth seed and sneaking into the Western Conference playoffs thanks to Mauro Manotas' huge second half.
As bad as it was, the Galaxy might not have even had the worst result of the day. Needing a win to hold onto their one-point lead in the Supporters' Shield race, Atlanta were played off the field by an inspired Toronto FC team. The Five Stripes lost 4-1 at BMO Field and, all of a sudden, look very, very vulnerable without the injured Miguel Almiron. They still had the second-best record in the league this year and tied the all-time single-season points record, but they're not the team they were even one month ago. They'll have to rebound quickly from the body blow they took in Toronto, something that won't be made any easier by head coach Tata Martino's impending departure.
Elsewhere, Dallas conceded twice in the final 10 minutes to cough up a 1-0 lead and slip from second to fourth in the West, ceding a Knockout Round bye to Seattle. LAFC couldn't capitalize on a man advantage at Sporting KC, conceding after Seth Sinovic was sent off to lose 2-1 and fall from a potential first seed to third. The Knockout Round, and a rested RSL, await.
Here's the Knockout Round schedule:
- No. 3 NYCFC vs. No. 6 Philadelphia Union, Eastern Conference, 7:00PM ET (TV: UniMas, FS1 / TSN, TVA Sports)
- No. 4 FC Dallas vs. No. 5 Portland Timbers, Western Conference, 9:30PM ET (TV: UniMas, ESPN+ / TSN, TVA Sports)
- No. 4 D.C. United vs. No. 5 Columbus Crew SC, Eastern Conference, 8:00PM ET (TV: UniMas, FS1 / TSN, TVA Sports)
- No. 3 LAFC vs. No. 6 Real Salt Lake, Western Conference, 10:30PM ET (TV: UniMas, ESPN2 / TSN, TVA Sports)
Don't forget to fill out your bracket.
7:45 PM ET
We're final in Columbus, and Decision Day has come to an official, belated end. The Crew SC win means they'll finish fifth in the East and take on D.C. in the Knockout Round. Here's how the rest of the playoff picture shook out.
- New York Red Bulls
- New York City FC
- Sporting KC
- Real Salt Lake
7:35 PM ET
Make it a hat trick for Gyasi Zardes!
One season after he was relegated to a right back role with LA, Zardes now has 19 goals for Crew SC. The striker gave Columbus a 3-2 lead, and put them back in fifth in the East, setting up a Knockout Round match at D.C.
7:30 PM ET
Decision Day isn't over yet.
We've got goals in Ohio, where Gyasi Zardes scored his second to give Crew SC a 2-0 lead, only for Loons defender Francisco Calvo to strike back with two of his own.
We're at 2-2 heading into the final 10 minutes. If this ends in a draw, Columbus will finish sixth in the East and play at NYCFC in the Knockout Round. A win would put them in fifth and set up a midweek date at D.C.
7:04 PM ET
Davies wasn't the only player who said goodbye to MLS on Sunday. Longtime veteran Alan Gordon announced this morning that he'd retire after the Chicago Fire's home match against D.C. United, which ended scoreless.
Happy trails to an MLS cult hero.
7:01 PM ET
Alphonso Davies went out with a bang. The teenage star scored both of Vancouver's goals in their 2-1 win against the Timbers, then went off to a raucous ovation from the BC Place faithful in the second-half. We'll see him next in Munich.
67 forever. @AlphonsoDavies leaves the @BCPlace pitch to a standing ovation in his final match with #VWFC. You’ve made us proud, young man. You’ve made us proud. #FarewellPhonzie pic.twitter.com/q5amLOvAXz— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) October 28, 2018
6:54 PM ET
It was a brutal season for Chris Wondolowski and the San Jose Earthquakes. Dude got at least one thing right, though. Dang.
Looking at the #MLSDecisionDay scoreboard and seeing the Dynamo win, I'm reminded of something #Quakes74 captain Chris Wondolowski said back in March when Zlatan signed with LA: “I hope he helps the Galaxy finish seventh." Mission: Accomplished. https://t.co/CFQMaE5OhW— Robert Jonas (@robertjonas) October 28, 2018
6:52 PM ET
Never in doubt. LOL.
Never in doubt 😘 pic.twitter.com/1oNqPb6NlL— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) October 28, 2018
Send Mauro Manotas a gift basket, RSL.
6:45 PM ET
And that's that! LA with an unbelievable second-half collapse to lose 3-2 to the Houston Dynamo ... and miss the postseason for the second straight year.
Columbus and Minnesota still have a half to play, but the playoff field is set. Columbus will keep the fifth seed with a win, while a draw or a loss would drop them to sixth and put Philadelphia in fifth.
6:43 PM ET
SKC hang on against LAFC to finish atop the Western Conference.
Just waiting on the final whistle in LA, now ...
6:42 PM ET
It's final in Foxborough: The Revs defeat the Impact 1-0 and eliminate Montreal from the postseason.
Columbus, who lead Minnesota 1-0 at the break, will be the East's final seed.
6:40 PM ET
Not only did the Red Bulls win the Shield, they set the all-time single season points record. New York finish the season with 71 points, two more than the previous record of 69, set by Toronto last season.
2018 Supporters Shield Winners!!! https://t.co/ncScTY1FuO— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) October 28, 2018
6:38 PM ET
It's final in Harrison and Toronto: The Red Bulls won, Atlanta lost and New York have claimed a third Supporters' Shield in six seasons!
6:37 PM ET
Another one for Ruidiaz!
The Peruvian strikes again in stoppage time to give Seattle a 2-1 lead over San Jose!
The Sounders gripping that No. 2 spot tightly.
6:36 PM ET
When it rains, it pours. Giovinco makes it 4-1 for Toronto over Atlanta.
6:34 PM ET
Another for Colorado! Tommy Smith heads home a corner to give the Rapids a 2-1 lead.
As things stand, SKC will win the West, Seattle are the No. 2 seed. LAFC are in third and Dallas have dropped all the way to fourth.
6:33 PM ET
We've got a couple of equalizers out West...
First we'll head to Seattle, where Raul Ruidiaz fired home to pull the Sounders level at 1-1 with San Jose.
And then to Colorado, where rookie Homegrown Cole Bassett brought the Rapids even against FCD.
6:29 PM ET
Pardon my tardiness (I blame Houston), but Diego Fagundez gave the Revs a 1-0 lead against Montreal a few minutes back.
That might do it for the Impact, who were already behind the eight ball with Crew SC out front against Minnesota.
6:27 PM ET
That might do it for Atlanta.
Lucas Janson buries his second of the game to give TFC a 3-1 lead. The Red Bulls have one hand on the Shield...
6:25 PM ET
LA has a problem, and its name is Houston.
The Dynamo with a shocker at StubHub, as Mauro Manotas completes his brace to give Houston a 3-2 lead! They've erased their 2-0 deficit and are on the brink of bouncing LA out of the postseason.
6:21 PM ET
Game on in Toronto!
Darlington Nagbe drew a penalty and Josef Martinez (finally) converted to cut the Five Stripes' deficit to 2-1. Two more goals for Atlanta or one more goal for Orlando and the Shield race gets flipped ... again.
6:19 PM ET
We're on the brink of a galactic giveaway in LA.
Mauro Manotas just converted a penalty to pull the Dynamo level at 2-2. If the draw holds, LA are out and RSL are in as the West's sixth seed.
6:15 PM ET
Down a man? Not a problem for Daniel Salloi and SKC.
The Hungarian with an excellent finish against the run of play to give Sporting a huge 2-1 lead. They're back in control in the West.
6:14 PM ET
Seattle have been the best team in MLS since the halfway point. San Jose are easily the worst team in the league.
Naturally, the Quakes just took a 1-0 lead at CenturyLink. Danny Hoesen with the goal.
In Toronto, Atlanta are making a serious push. They had a goal disallowed due to offside, and just hit the woodwork. Time's running out, though. They'll likely need some help for Orlando if they're going to claim the Shield.
6:11 PM ET
Houston's Romell Quioto pulls one back to cut LA's lead to 2-1 and add some intrigue out at StubHub.
Meanwhile, big moves in Kansas, where SKC's Seth Sinovic was shown a straight red for a handball in the box. Carlos Vela converted the ensuing PK to make it 1-1. LAFC will be up a man for the rest of the match, while Sinovic will be suspended for KC's first postseason match.
Meanwhile, things are back underway in Columbus, where Gyasi Zardes put Crew SC up 1-0 on Minnesota with an 11th-minute strike.
6:02 PM ET
Atlanta were dead... And then they weren't.
Toronto's Justin Morrow with a goal called back after Video Review, then Josef Martinez misses another good look. The Five Stripes are still hanging by a thread, but it's high time to get moving.
5:55 PM ET
That's how you redeem yourself, Derrick Etienne.
After missing a penalty in the first-half, the young winger gives the Red Bulls a HUGE 1-0 lead with a fine goal against Orlando. If the Red Bulls hold on, only a win will do for Atlanta. A third Shield in six seasons might be in their future...
5:50 PM ET
Speaking of awkward, things have taken a turn for Cory Burke and the Union. The goal-scorer got into it with Borek Dockal toward the end of the first-half, had to be separated from his Czech teammate heading into the locker room, then got subbed off at the break. He was seen on the bench in tears to start the second. Not quite the vibe you want heading into the playoffs.
Union losing 3-1 and yelling at each other: pic.twitter.com/eVmctDqkeJ— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) October 28, 2018
Cory Burke has been subbed out for Ilson, Jr. Maybe that friction with Borek Dockal led to it. Burke is on the bench in tears.— Brotherly Game (@BrotherlyGame) October 28, 2018
5:47 PM ET
Quick note on the Shield race: If Atlanta lose by a single goal and the Red Bulls draw Orlando, the two sides would finish tied on points, wins and in goal differential. The Shield would then be decided by the goals for tiebreaker, which Atlanta have a healthy lead in.
Don't give up hope yet, Five Stripes fans. And, uh, root for Orlando? Awkward.
5:41 PM ET
Bizarre, but potentially meaningful, result of the weather delay in Ohio: Montreal-New England will finish before Crew SC-Minnesota, meaning Columbus will know whether or not they need a win to qualify for the postseason during their match.
If the Impact can't improve on their current 0-0 scoreline in New England, Columbus will qualify regardless of their result against the Loons. We've got a long way to go, but that could allow Gregg Berhalter to sub out some of his most important players ahead of a Knockout Round match on Wednesday or Thursday.
5:32 PM ET
Here's how things stand at halftime, with the Crew SC-Minnesota match still in a weather delay.
- New York Red Bulls
- New York City FC
- Sporting KC
- LA Galaxy
Barring a big second half for Atlanta, the Red Bulls are in line for their third Shield since 2013.
Live Standings here.
5:30 PM ET
Everyone is scoring around MLS. Everyone except Josef Martinez and Atlanta.
The Golden Boot leader and single-season goal record-holder misses a fantastic opportunity to pull the Five Stripes within one at BMO Field. Just one of those days?
5:25 PM ET
More goals? More goals.
David Villa gets on the board to give NYCFC a 3-1 lead against Philadelphia.
And Roger Espinoza with a certified banger to give SKC a 1-0 lead over LAFC in the battle for the West's top spot. Might want to step to that dude, Black-and-Gold.
5:23 PM ET
He had to do it to 'em. Then he had to do it again.
Alphonso Davies with the first-half brace in his farewell game for the Whitecaps. Vancouver with a 2-0 lead on Portland's reserves.
ALPHONSO DAVIES!!! The teen phenom scores a brilliant solo goal in his last game for #VWFC!!! What a moment for him!#FarewellPhonzie #Golazo 🇨🇦⚡️🔥#VANvPOR #MLS #CanMNT #FCBayern pic.twitter.com/Yd4cg8LRB9— #ThankYouDeuce (@JogaBonito_USA) October 28, 2018
Take a bow, kid.
5:17 PM ET
Make it two for Ola.
Kamara bags a brace to give LA a 2-0 lead on Houston. It's early, but a return to the playoffs looks just about in the bag for the Galaxy. Better luck next time, RSL.
5:15 PM ET
Goals, goals, goals, goals. Goals.
Ola Kamara gives the Galaxy a well-deserved lead against Houston. If they hold on, they'll claim the West's sixth-seed ahead of RSL.
Out in Colorado, Maxi Urruti gives FC Dallas a 1-0 advantage at the Rapids. A win would clinch a first-round bye for FCD.
5:13 PM ET
Where has this TFC been all season? Toronto double their lead against Atlanta, with Marky Delgado doing the honors.
Atlanta: Time to wake up.
5:10 PM ET
We're on break in Columbus, where weather has moved in and put a pause on the proceedings.
5:07 PM ET
Big-time missed opportunity at Red Bull Arena, where New York failed to convert a penalty that would've put them even more firmly in the driver's seat for the Shield.
Adam Grinwis with the HUGE stop on surprise PK-taker Derrick Etienne.
5:02 PM ET
Anddddd just like that, Philly answer.
Striker Cory Burke finishes off a Borek Dockal pass to claw one back for the Union, who, at 2-1, have plenty of life in the Bronx.
4:59 PM ET
Speaking of coming to play... Hello NYCFC!
The Cityzens, winners of just one of their last nine, are out to a huge 2-0 home lead against the fourth-place Philadelphia Union. A win would clinch the third-seed for NYCFC, while a Union loss could drop Philly to fifth and vault D.C. to fourth, setting up a Knockout Round match between the two sides at Audi Field in midweek.
Maxime Chanot bagged NYCFC's first, while Auston Trusty had a rough own goal for their second.
4:55 PM ET
Uh oh, Atlanta ... Toronto FC came to play.
Lucas Janson bounced a right-footed strike off an Atlanta defender and in to give the Reds -- who have nothing to play for but pride -- an early lead over the Shield leaders at BMO Field. The Five Stripes have some work to do to hold off the Red Bulls.
4:53 PM ET
Chance! The Galaxy nearly take what would've been a massive early advantage, but striker Ola Kamara can't quite redirect his header of Ema Boateng's cross on frame.
Major let off for Houston, and a big sigh of relief for Real Salt Lake.
4:48 PM ET
20 seconds in, and we've already got some #scenes in Kansas City.
SKC started the match with a fantastic double chance, only for LAFC's Tyler Miller to make a pair of fine saves. Of note: Johnny Russell went down holding his left shoulder following a collision with Miller. One to keep an eye on.
4:45 PM ET
22 teams. 11 games. Two playoff spots up for grabs. One Supporters' Shield to win.
Strap in, folks. We're off and running.
4:38 PM ET
Some nice moments in Vancouver ahead of Alphonso Davies' final match before his upcoming move to Munich. Check it:
4:21 PM ET
Columbus' late slide has been one of the bigger stories of the last couple of months. The main culprit in Crew SC's slump? Their attack, which has scored the second-fewest goals in the league this season.
Gregg Berhalter has made a pretty major change to his lineup in an attempt to get things going up top for today's match against Minnesota. Designated Player winger Pedro Santos has been benched for youngster Niko Hansen. A bold move for a huge game.
A DP winger sitting on the bench in a must-win game says a lot about this season as a whole for the Crew. https://t.co/UCXdn6fyrp— Andrew King (@AndrewKingMLS) October 28, 2018
4:15 PM ET
The Vancouver Whitecaps are out of the playoff picture, but that doesn't mean their match against the Portland Timbers isn't without meaning. The game is the last MLS contest (for now, anyway) for 17-year-old Whitecaps wunderkind Alphonso Davies, who will complete his big-money move to Bayern Munich in January.
Expect the 'Caps to pull out all the stops for their farewell to Phonzie.
REMINDER: Following warmup, a short on-field presentation will be held for Alphonso Davies at approximately 1:20 p.m. A special video message from Davies will then be shown on the videoboard shortly before kickoff, at approximately 1:30 p.m. PT. #FarewellPhonzie pic.twitter.com/QSoojDx76S— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) October 28, 2018
4:10 PM ET
The Red Bulls seem relaxed.
Here's lock-down center backs Tim Parker and Aaron Long making a festive entrance ahead of their match against Orlando. Danny Royer is trying, but looks like he dressed as himself? Maybe Halloween is different in Austria.
4:00 PM ET
The Portland Timbers aren't taking any risks this Decision Day.
Portland are essentially locked-in to the fifth spot in the West no matter what happens in their match at Vancouver. Head coach Giovanni Savarese is fielding a lineup that reflects that. The Timbers are running out an almost entirely second-choice XI. None of the starters from their 3-1 win over RSL last week are in the lineup, and stars Diego Valeri and Diego Chara aren't even in the 18.
They'll be well-rested for their likely road Knockout Round match in midweek.
3:51 PM ET
A nice moment in Kansas City, where former SKC standouts and current LAFC midfielders Benny Feilhaber and Latif Blessing got some love from Sporting supporters prior to kick at Children's Mercy Park.
Feilhaber is in the XI for LAFC, while Blessing will be available off the bench for Bob Bradley.
3:45 PM ET
Welcome to Decision Day!
After nearly eight full months, hundreds of games and countless goals, the 2018 regular season is just hours away from coming to a close. There's a whole lot on the line this afternoon. The Supporters' Shield is up for grabs, the all-time single-season points record is in play, the sixth and final playoff spots in both the Eastern and Western Conferences are in the balance and plenty of postseason seeds are at stake.
Atlanta United are the headliner at the top of the table. The Five Stripes will clinch the Supporters' Shield and the all-time single-season points record with a win at Toronto FC, who are looking to protect the 69-point mark they set in 2017. Atlanta will clinch the Shield and the record with three points, but a stumble would open the door for the New York Red Bulls, who are just one point behind the Eastern Conference leaders heading into their home match against lowly Orlando City.
Playoff berths are on the line in Columbus and LA, where Crew SC and the Galaxy will sew up the sixth seeds in the East and West with wins against Minnesota and Houston, respectively. A loss or draw for Columbus would be a jolt of life for the Montreal Impact, who will sneak into sixth with a win at New England coupled with a Crew SC draw or loss. Anything but a win for the Galaxy, and Real Salt Lake, the lone team not playing today, will qualify for the postseason.
There's a good deal on the line at the top of the West, too. First-place Sporting KC will host LAFC with the winner more than likely claiming the conference's top spot. FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders also have a shot at a top-two seed and first-round byes.
Keep it here (and on the Live Standings page) to follow along with all the action as it happens.