The Philadelphia Union’s loss to the Portland Timbers hurts them not only in the wins category but also in their push for a high playoff seed.
A 1-2 loss in Portland was not what the Union were hoping for. Even though it is always hard to play at Providence Park, the Union probably should have beaten the Timbers, who have been very inconstant in the MLS Cup defending season. This loss has made the Union winless in the past 3 games and has fallen down to 4th place in the Eastern Conference. But what does this mean for the Union’s playoff run?
Though Philadelphia has only picked up 1 point out of the last possible 9 points, they are still 7 points above the red line. That distance is most likely going to be far enough to cement a spot in the playoffs.
That being said, Philadelphia let a great opportunity to move up in the standings go begging. NYCFC settled for a point in Frisco this weekend. If the Union picked up all 3 points against Portland, that gap would have closed to just 2 points and 4 points off the Eastern Conference leading Toronto FC. Not only that, but Montreal–who sit in 1 spot behind Philadelphia in the standings–got a 3-1 thrashing at the hands of the visiting New England Revolution. AUnion win would have seen a 5 point gap between them 5th place Montreal.
With only 4 games left and all of them against Eastern Conference playoff contenders, Philadelphia must take advantage of these match-ups and move up the standings in order to grab a favorable playoff seed.