How the playoff races are shaping up in Week 28

Here are the latest developments in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoff race after the a topsy turvy Week 28 that saw plenty of surprising results shape the chase for the postseason:

Eastern Conference

  • No. 1 seed: NYCFC's 2-1 victory over San Jose allowed them to extend their lead over the Philadelphia Union (5 points) and Atlanta United (9 points) after both dropped points in Week 28.
  • Who will host in Round 1? (No. 2-No. 4 seeds): As it stands, the Union and Atlanta (the latter with a game or two in hand against all their competitors) are in strong position to secure home playoff matches in Round 1. Toronto FC and D.C. United are still neck-and-neck for the No. 4 seed and that final home playoff game after both picked up wins on Sunday. Despite failing to pick up three points, the New York Red Bulls (No. 6, 4-2 loss in Seattle) and New England Revolution (No. 7, 3-3 draw in Orlando), could still both get to that coveted fourth-place spot, in part thanks to their games in hand over the two teams they're chasing.
  • Chase for final playoff spots (No. 5-No. 7 seeds): It was a good week for the teams already above the playoff line in the East after Orlando City and Montreal both missed huge opportunities, dropping points at home to remain on the outside looking in. The Impact, three points behind the Revs for the final playoff spot and with one more game played, will rue their shock 1-0 loss to last-place FC Cincinnati should they narrowly miss out on the postseason. Chicago and Columbus are still alive after big wins in Week 28, but Crew SC have six points to make up with only three matches remaining.

Western Conference

  • No. 1 seed: LAFC have the No. 1 seed locked up and are now simply waiting to clinch the Supporters' Shield for the best regular season record. It could happen in Week 29 at home against Toronto FC.
  • Who will host in Round 1? (No. 2-No. 4 seeds): The jockeying for seeding behind LAFC in the West is fierce, with another round of playoff musical chairs unfolding over the weekend. Minnesota and Real Salt Lake went head-to-head, with the Loons (No. 3) overtaking the Claret-and-Cobalt (No. 4) — who had started the weekend in the No. 2 spot — thanks to a 3-1 win. Overtaking both teams were the Seattle Sounders, who are the latest occupants of that second-place spot in the West thanks to their win over the Red Bulls. On the outside, but very close to a home playoff spot are the LA Galaxy (No. 5), who started the weekend outside the playoff places altogether but are now squarely in the running for a home playoff game after their head-turning 7-2 rout of Sporting KC. Even the faltering San Jose Earthquakes (No. 6) and Portland Timbers (No. 7) still have a shot despite some rough outings this week.
  • Chase for final playoff spots (No. 5-No. 7 seeds): Thanks to the Galaxy's win and their own abysmal showing in Chicago, FC Dallas are now on the wrong side of the playoff line. Still, they're probably the only team in such a position with a legitimate shot at the postseason, especially after Sporting KC's demoralizing defeat to LA — their second straight loss against a direct playoff rival — left them six points adrift with four games remaining.

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