The MLS Playoffs are almost upon us, as next weekend every team will wrap up their season — on ‘decision day’ as the league deems in.
Whether it’s securing the last two playoff spots left in the West or fighting for seeding in the East, it’s sure to be a fun one.
And to get you caught up on what you need to know, here’s a rundown on the matches from this past week to set you up for Sunday’s ‘decision day.’
NYCFC 4-1 Atlanta United
A potential preview of the Eastern Conference Finals went down in this one, as the two top teams in the East met on Wednesday.
A big 4-1 victory for NYCFC over Atlanta United secured New York the top spot in the Conference and a first-round Bye in the MLS Cup Playoffs. They may have slumped as the weekend rolled in, falling 2-0 against the New England Revolution, but they’re good to go as the top seed.
Entering ‘decision day,’ they sit six points above Atlanta United, who are tied with the Philadelphia Union with 55 points.
Tough night in New York.— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) September 26, 2019
Here's how it went down ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/lWl3IfxG4c
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is headed to the MLS Cup playoffs for the first time in his career.
The 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake — another potential playoff preview — secured a post-season spot for the LA Galaxy. Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, currently sit in 5th place in the West after with a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, clinching a spot in the playoffs themselves.
San Jose Earthquakes 1-2 Philadelphia Union
On the brink of a playoff spot, the San Jose Earthquakes lost both games this week starting off with a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union midweek before falling 1-0 to the Seattle Sounders. San Jose sits one point behind the Portland Timbers, their opponent this week. Whoever wins will secure a playoff spot. Portland vs San Jose will be a match to watch!
The Union, meanwhile, followed up their victory on Wednesday by falling 2-0 to the Columbus Crew on Sunday. Columbus are far out of a playoff spot, but they’re not afraid to play spoilers and make an impact on the Eastern Conference seeding. Watch out TFC fans as Tim Bezbatchenko’s new side is your opponent this weekend. The Union are now tied with Atlanta United for second place in the East, as a first-round trip to either of these destinations seem the most like for Toronto FC.
This one was all about seeding — and the best possible result for TFC.
The biggest story lines coming out of this match, however, was that D.C. United will go into this weekend’s final match against FC Cincinnati without star Wayne Rooney due to card accumulation. As for the New York Red Bulls, they could have secured a home playoff match for the first round, but didn’t.
These two teams will be fighting for home turf this weekend in their respective matches, as the Reds still have an outside chance at snagging fourth.
New England Revolution 2-0 NYCFC
The New England Revolution’s shutout win over the top seed secured them a spot in the post-season. Who saw this one coming? This week, New England face another touch team in Atlanta United. This could be a possible playoff preview match up, depending on seeding. NER are going to be in-form heading into the post-season fending off a tough schedule down the stretch to make the MLS Cup playoffs. Keep an eye out.
The Colorado Rapids got three points they desperately needed. After a miraculous run since the hiring of Toronto FC assistant coach Robin Fraser, the Rapids currently sit just outside a playoff spot, right below the San Jose Earthquakes. FC Dallas are in the last playoff spot, but this weekend’s matches will determine who is in and who is out. San Jose, Dallas, Portland, and Colorado — who have an outside chance — are all in the running for the final two playoff spots in the west.
The Western Conference is currently has two open spots, leaving this weekend’s matches as do-or-die situations for some. The Eastern Conference, however, has their playoff teams confirmed, but seeding will be huge, so keep your eyes on the matches to see who Toronto FC will end up playing in the ‘yoffs!