MLS Playoff Picture: Last Minute Runs

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 05: Midfielder Miguel Almiron
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 05: Midfielder Miguel Almiron /

A Couple Teams Are Making a Late Playoff Push, Do they Have a Shot?

The New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake seemed dead in the water a month ago. The Revs have back to back wins and Salt Lake is 5-2-3 since the start of July. Both are sitting at 35 points and in 8th place. The two are within reaching distance, but they are quickly running out of games.

With just over a month to go, the Revs have the hurdle of trying to pass some more talented teams. Salt Lake’s major hurdle is the teams in front of them have games in hand. If they want to get in the playoffs, they will need some help. The two are there, and stranger things have happened. Both teams, at this point, seem unlikely to make it.

Eastern Conference

The Top Two (Advances Past Knockout Round)

  1. Toronto FC – 59 points, 6 games remaining
  2. New York City FC – 50 points, 6 games remaining

Knockout Round Bound, For Now

3. Chicago Fire – 45 points, 6 games remaining

4. Columbus Crew – 43 points, 5 games remaining

5. New York Red Bulls – 41 points, 7 games remaining

6. Atlanta United – 39 points, 9 games remaining

On the Outside

7. Montreal Impact – 36 points, 7 games remaining

8. NE Revolution – 35 points, 7 games remaining

Right now Toronto and NYCFC (especially Toronto) are running away with the Eastern Conference. Chicago and Columbus are too far back, and it’s hard to see the Red Bulls making up nine points in so little time.

The real wildcard in the Eastern Conference is Atlanta. With so many games in hand, especially at home, they have the ultimate power in who hosts the knockout round games. They have two of those home games this week against teams on the outside of the playoff bubble. Six points from those two will certainly pass Red Bulls and will likely be within striking distance of Chicago and Columbus, still with games in hand.

Western Conference

The Top Two

  1. Portland Timbers – 44 points, 5 games remaining
  2. Seattle Sounders – 43 points, 6 games remaining

Knockout Round Bound, For Now

3. Vancouver Whitecaps – 41 points, 8 games remaining

4. Sporting Kansas City – 41 points, 7 games remaining

5. Houston Dynamo – 38 points, 7 games remaining

6. FC Dallas – 37 points, 7 games remaining

On the Outside

7. San Jose Earthquakes – 36 points, 6 games remaining

8. Real Salt Lake – 35 points, 5 games remaining

This week it’s Portland’s turn on the top of the table, who knows who it will be next week. They have a game on the road that is an absolute must have for Salt Lake. Houston and San Jose have an absolutely massive game coming up this weekend, and boy does Dallas need this one against Seattle.

Must Read: MNUFC vs Philadelphia Takeaways

The Western Conference matchups this weekend are the ones to watch. After this weekend there will be a much clearer idea about the pecking order of the teams, and who will host playoff matches.