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MLS

MLS Cup Playoffs: Scenarios and games remaining heading into Decision Day

4:41 AM MYT 04/10/2022
Gonzalo Higuain Inter Miami
GOAL takes a look at what's still left to play for in MLS.

The MLS playoff race will come down to the wire, with plenty left to decide in both conferences as we head towards Decision Day.

The final matches of the MLS season will be played on Sunday, October 8, and there will be several playoff places up for grabs on the final day as teams push to be in each conference's top 7.

A total of nine teams will be battling for five playoff spots, while several teams above them will jostle for seeding, and the home games that come with it.

But what's at stake heading into the final games of the MLS season? GOAL takes a look.

What are the current Eastern Conference standings?

Top 7 teams make the playoffs. X denotes teams that have already clinched a spot.

Place

Team

Points

Games Played

1.

Philadelphia Union - x

64

33

2.

CF Montreal - x

62

33

3.

NYCFC - x

52

33

4.

New York Red Bulls - x

50

33

5.

Inter Miami - x

48

33

6.

FC Cincinnati

46

33

7.

Columbus Crew

46

33

8.

Orlando City

45

33

9.

Charlotte FC - eliminated

42

33

10.

New England Revolution - eliminated

41

33

11.

Atlanta United - eliminated

40

33

12.

Chicago Fire - eliminated

38

33

13.

Toronto FC - eliminated

34

33

14.

D.C. United - eliminated

27

33

Which teams can still qualify in the Eastern Conference?

Heading into the final games of the MLS season, five teams have sealed playoff spots: the Philadelphia Union, CF Montreal, NYCFC, the New York Red Bulls and Inter Miami.

The Union can seal homefield advantage throughout the Eastern Conference portion of the playoffs with a win on Decision Day, with Montreal just behind them in contention for that top spot.

NYCFC has sealed at least a home game in the first round, with last year's MLS Cup champions set to finish either third or fourth. The Red Bulls, meanwhile, know that they can finish fourth with a result against Charlotte FC, who saw their playoff hopes come to an end in their penultimate game of the season.

Inter Miami are the fifth and final team to have clinched ahead of decision day, having defeated Orlando City to book their spot.

That leaves three teams fighting for the final two Eastern Conference playoff spots.

FC Cincinnati and the Columbus Crew are currently holding those spots, with both having a one-point lead over Orlando City.

Fortunately for Orlando City, they face off with Columbus in their final match knowing they're in with a win, or an FC Cincy slip up against last-place D.C. United.

The aforementioned Charlotte FC have joined the New England Revolution, Atlanta United, the Chicago Fire, Toronto FC and D.C. United in being eliminated from postseason contention.

Place

Points

Team

Games Remaining

1.

64

Philadelphia Union - x

Toronto FC (H)

2.

62

CF Montreal - x

Inter Miami (A)

3.

52

NYCFC -x

Atlanta United (A)

4.

50

New York Red Bulls -x

Charlotte FC (H)

5.

48

Inter Miami - x

CF Montreal (H)

6.

46

FC Cincinnati

D.C. United (A)

7.

46

Columbus Crew

Orlando City (A)

8.

45

Orlando City

Columbus Crew (H)

What are the current Western Conference standings?

Top 7 teams make the playoffs. X denotes teams that have already clinched a spot.

Place

Team

Points

Games Played

1.

LAFC - x

67

33

2.

Austin FC - x

55

33

3.

FC Dallas - x

50

33

4.

LA Galaxy - x

47

33

5.

Nashville SC - x

47

33

6.

Portland Timbers

46

33

7.

Minnesota United

45

33

8.

Real Salt Lake

44

33

9.

Vancouver Whitecaps

43

33

10.

Colorado Rapids - eliminated

42

33

11.

Seattle Sounders - eliminated

40

33

12.

Sporting KC - eliminated

40

33

13.

Houston Dynamo - eliminated

36

33

14.

San Jose Earthquakes - eliminated

34

33

Which teams can still qualify in the Western Conference?

Los Angeles FC has already clinched the Supporters' Shield and, with it, homefield advantage throughout the playoffs and a bye through the first round.

Austin FC, meanwhile, has clinched a home game in Round One, but there's still plenty to shake out behind them. FC Dallas, the LA Galaxy and Nashville SC have all clinched, with four teams behind them battling for the final two playoff spots and seeding still up in the air.

The Portland Timbers and Minnesota United will go into Decision Day knowing that points against Real Salt Lake and the Vancouver Whitecaps, respectively, would be enough to get them in. Vancouver and RSL, meanwhile, will know that they'll need to win to clinch postseason spots.

The Colorado Rapids, Seattle Sounders, Sporting KC, the Houston Dynamo and the San Jose Earthquakes have been eliminated.

Points

Team

Games Remaining

50

FC Dallas -x

Sporting KC (H)

47

LA Galaxy - x

Houston Dynamo (A)

47

Nashville SC - x

LAFC (A)

46

Portland Timbers

Real Salt Lake (A)

45

Minnesota United

Vancouver Whitecaps (A)

44

Real Salt Lake

Portland Timbers (H)

43

Vancouver Whitecaps

Minnesota United (H)