The MLS regular season comes to a close as Decision Day will finalize the playoff matchups. Soccer fans will get a Halloween treat as the MLS playoffs kick off on October 31st with the first set of Knockout Round matches. We will have the full playoff schedule as soon as it is released.
In the East, the Red Bulls and Atlanta United will be the top two seeds respectively with both teams securing a bye. Out West, Sporting KC and Seattle will be the top two seeds as the Sounders jumped up in the seeding during Decision Day.
Here’s a look at the four Knockout Round matchupsper MLS: No. 3 NYCFC vs. No. 6 Philadelphia Union, No. 4 D.C. United vs. No. 5 Columbus Crew, No. 3 LAFC vs. No. 6 Real Salt Lake, No. 4 FC Dallas vs. No. 5 Portland Timbers.
Atlanta United and New York Red Bulls were fighting for the Supporters’ Shield, given to the team atop the MLS table at the end of the regular season. The Red Bulls ended the night with the shield after Atlanta was shocked by Toronto. An Atlanta win over Toronto would have guaranteed the Five Stripes secured the regular season title. The Red Bulls needed a bit of help to win the shield, even with a win over Orlando City.
Atlanta United’s team site broke down the tiebreakers which would come down to goals scored in the above scenario.
Atlanta United sits one point ahead of the Red Bulls, so the Five Stripes control their own destiny – Win in Toronto = Win the Supporters’ Shield. But it’s not always that simple, so below are all the scenarios for Atlanta United to clinch the Shield on the final day:
1. Atlanta win against Toronto FC
2. Atlanta draw against Toronto FC AND New York Red Bulls draw against Orlando City
3. New York Red Bulls loss
4. New York Red Bulls tie with less than 8 goals scored AND Atlanta loss by only 1 goal
(In this scenario, Atlanta would beat Red Bulls based on the third tiebreaker – goals scored).
Here’s a look at the current playoff matchups and standings courtesy of the MLS. Teams in bold have clinched a playoff spot, and the top six teams in each conference made the playoffs.
MLS Playoff Matchups 2018
The schedule comes courtesy of The Washington Post’s Steven Goff.
|No. 1 NY Red Bulls|
|No. 2 Atlanta United|
|Oct. 31/Nov. 1||No. 3 NYCFC vs. No. 6 Philadelphia||7 or 7:30 p.m. FS1/UniMas|
|Oct. 31/Nov. 1||No. 4 D.C. United vs. No. 5 Columbus||8 p.m. FS1/UniMas|
|No. 1 Sporting KC|
|No. 2 Seattle|
|Oct. 31/Nov. 1||No. 3 LAFC vs. No. 6 Real Salt Lake||10:30 p.m. ESPN2/UniMas|
|Oct. 31/Nov. 1||No. 4 FC Dallas vs. No. 5 Portland||9:30 p.m. ESPN+/UniMas|
MLS Standings: Eastern Conference
|1. New York Red Bulls||22||7||5||71|
|2. Atlanta United FC||21||7||6||69|
|3. New York City FC||16||10||8||56|
|4. D.C. United||14||11||9||51|
|5. Columbus Crew SC||14||11||9||51|
|6. Philadelphia Union||15||14||5||50|
|New England Revolution||10||13||11||41|
|Orlando City SC||8||22||4||28|
MLS Standings: Western Conference
|1. Sporting Kansas City||18||8||8||62|
|2. Seattle Sounders FC||18||11||5||59|
|3. Los Angeles Football Club||16||9||9||57|
|4. FC Dallas||16||9||9||57|
|5. Portland Timbers||15||10||9||54|
|6. Real Salt Lake||14||13||7||49|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||13||13||8||47|
|Minnesota United FC||11||20||3||36|
|San Jose Earthquakes||4||21||9||21|