MLS Playoff Picture Gets Clearer In Final Months

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: David Villa
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 05: David Villa /

Breaking Down the Playoff Race In MLS

Most teams are down to single digit games remaining before the playoffs begin. It’s time to turn our attention to the playoff race and who is getting to play at home, who is on the road, and who just won’t play at all.

Eastern Conference

The Top Two (Advances Past Knockout Round)

  1. Toronto FC: 50 points, 9 games remaining
  2. NYCFC: 46 points, 9 games remaining

Toronto is looking like the best team in the league and NYCFC is roaring past Chicago. These two teams are at the front of the Supporter’s Shield race and making a bigger gap for that first round bye. Toronto has two games this week, at home against Philadelphia and a rivalry week match in Montreal. NYCFC is taking on the Red Bulls. These two can make an even bigger gap with wins this week.

Knockout Round Bound, For Now

3. Chicago: 41 points, 9 games remaining

4. NYRB: 38 points, 10 games remaining

5. Columbus: 36 points, 8 games remaining

6. Montreal: 36 points, 10 games remaining

Chicago has hit a rut and now is looking like a team destined for the knockout round. Montreal has shown up out of nowhere to make things interesting. Four straight wins has them in position for now. They’re tied with Columbus, who is quickly running out of games. If they stumble in their two games this week there are only six matches left to keep up.

Fighting to Get In

7. Atlanta: 35 points, 12 games remaining

8. Orlando: 31 points, 9 games remaining

Atlanta is one point back and has a ton of games in hand. They can make some huge gains this week playing a couple of teams outside of the playoff picture. Orlando is hanging on by a thread. After their white hot start to the season, they’ve only won two of their last 18 matches.

Western Conference

The Top Two

  1. Seattle: 40 points, 9 games remaining
  2. Sporting KC: 40 points, 9 games remaining

Things in the west are much more tight than in the east. First place and sitting outside the playoffs have a margin of just seven points. Right now Seattle and SKC are the two playing the best soccer at the moment.

Knockout Round Bound

3. Houston: 37 points, 9 games remaining

4. Portland: 37 points, 8 games remaining

5. FC Dallas: 35 points, 11 games remaining

6. Vancouver: 34 points, 11 games remaining

Right now Houston and Portland are the two teams in a hosting spot, but with how tight things are, Dallas and Vancouver seem to have the advantage with the games in hand they have. Both Vancouver and Portland get to take on Seattle this week. In addition to that Houston and FC Dallas have a big rivalry match with more implications than just bragging rights.

Fighting to Get In

7. San Jose: 33 points, 9 games remaining

The Earthquakes need points out of their two road games this week to stay in the race. They’re winnable road games against Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy. Draws are okay but not great, losses would be big time trouble for them.