Major League Soccer 2021 season is less than a month away. Already teams are locking their playoff spots (hello, New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders), and one team knows they’ll be watching from home (sorry, FC Cincinnati).
A total of 14 teams will advance to the MLS Cup playoffs – the top seven from each of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference – with the seed from each conference earning a first-round bypass and qualifying directly. for the semifinals of the conference. A lot can (and will) change between now and Decision Day, November 7, but that won’t stop us from looking at potential playoff clashes too early.
Only two of the league’s 27 teams made a playoff spot, and only one was knocked out of the competition, so we can’t stress enough: these are hypothetical clashes, potential post-season contests based on the conference standings after week 30. Each week we will bring you updates on who has qualified, who has been eliminated and the matches that could be played in the first round. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the games that make us count the days until the MLS Cup playoffs start on November 20.
Who’s in, who’s out
Place of play-offs won:
– New England Revolution
– Seattle Sounders
Eliminated from the playoffs:
– FC Cincinnati
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Who can drop out this weekend
Kansas City Sports: SKC will confirm their playoff spot if they win or draw against the Whitecaps on Sunday night in Vancouver. Peter Vermes’ side could also win the game if Galaxy lose at home to Portland or Minnesota lose or draw with Austin. Considering the form of LA and the Loons, even though Sporting can’t do business in BC, it’s hard to imagine they won’t lock in their playoff spot this weekend.
Colorado Rapids: If the Rapids win against Salt Lake, they are listed. It’s as simple as that. If they don’t win, it gets complicated. If they draw with RSL, they’ll need help: Vancouver drops points to Kansas City and the Galaxy losing to Portland; Minnesota loses against Austin and the Galaxy loses to Portland and LAFC drops points in San Jose; Drop off points from Vancouver to Kansas City and Minnesota does the same with Austin. Or, regardless of Colorado’s result, they can land a playoff berth if Vancouver loses points. and Minnesota loses and San José loses points.
Who can be eliminated this weekend?
FC Toronto: If Toronto loses to Atlanta, there won’t be a playoff game for the Reds. A victory will keep them in contention for another week. A draw, and they are still in danger. Earning an Atlanta point will eliminate Toronto if any of the following combinations occur: Montreal beats Philadelphia and Columbus defeats Miami; Montreal beats Philadelphia and New York Red Bulls win or draw against NYCFC; Montreal beats Philadelphia and DC United win or draw against Nashville; Miami beats Columbus and Red Bulls beat NYCFC and Montreal draws against Philadelphia and DC wins or draws Nashville.
Chicago Fire: If Chicago loses points against Supporters’ Shield leaders New England, it’s over. Regardless of what the Fires do against the Revs, they can still be knocked out this weekend if DC United win or draw against Nashville. If DC wins, Chicago will be eliminated if Atlanta beats Toronto and Montreal beats Philadelphia and Orlando wins or draws Cincinnati; or, the Fire will be turned off with a DC win and if NYCFC beats the Red Bulls, Montreal beats Philadelphia and Orlando wins or draws Cincinnati. If DC draws, Chicago is out if Red Bulls beat NYCFC and Atlanta beats Toronto and Montreal beats Philadelphia and Orlando wins or draws Cincinnati.
Austin FC: The expansion team will be out of the playoffs with a loss to Minnesota and RSL defeats Colorado Where a loss to Minnesota and the galaxy beats portland and Drawing of Salt Lake with Colorado and Vancouver beats Sporting KC and San José defeats LAFC.
Houston Dynamo: OK, it’s complicated in Houston. Well, that’s if the Dynamo don’t lose to Seattle: a loss to the Sounders will knock Tab Ramos’ side out of the playoffs. A draw against the defending Western Conference champions will see the Dynamo eliminated if any of the following scenarios occur: RSL wins or draws Colorado and Vancouver beats Kansas City; Salt Lake wins or draws Colorado and Galaxy win or draw against Portland and Minnesota beats Austin; RSL win or draw against Colorado and Galaxy win or draw against Portland and LAFC defeated San José; Galaxy win or draw against Portland and Minnesota beats Austin and Vancouver beats Kansas City; Galaxy win or draw against Portland and Minnesota beats Austin and San José defeats LAFC; Galaxy win or draw against Portland and Minnesota draw with Austin and Vancouver beats SKC and LAFC defeated San José. Houston can also be eliminated even if it beats Seattle, if the following events occur: Real Salt Lake beats Colorado and the galaxy beat Portland and Vancouver beat Sporting.
Goodbye to the first round
New England Revolution: The Revs are so far ahead of the pitch that before any other club could confirm a playoff berth, they had clinched a first-round pass and the No.1 seed in the Conference of the United States. ‘East. Bruce Arena will surely use the 43 days until the start of the conference semifinals to relax and create some good vibes in New England, right? Maybe, but probably not until his team broke LAFC’s single-season point record of 72 (the Revolution are seven off that mark with five games left in their regular season schedule), and even then… probably not.
Seattle Sounders: Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps confirmed the Sounders’ place in the playoffs. As it stands, at the top of the Western Conference and five points behind its closest rival, Seattle will have the opportunity to rest and watch the first round unfold from the comfort of its collective couch.
FC Cincinnati: Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Philadelphia confirmed that Cincinnati will not make the playoffs and that their 2021 season-long disaster will officially end on November 7. There’s a new GM in town with the appointment of Chris Albright, and he’s going to need all the lead he can get if he’s going to hire a new coach and bring the third-year club out of the basement of MLS in 2022.
Matchmaking: Eastern Conference
2. Nashville SC vs 7. CF Montreal: No one in the East has conceded fewer goals than the Nashville 26 in 28 games, and only one of the seemingly playoff-linked teams has scored less than the Montreal 40. If Hany Mukhtar and CJ Sapong are unable to come up with goals, it’s hard to imagine. the ball breaking through the net if this game goes through.
3. Philadelphia Union vs. 6. New York City FC: Presumably, there were plenty of Philadelphia fans who would have snatched a No.3 seed in the East in 2021 after an offseason that saw Brenden Aaronson move to FC Salzburg and Mark McKenzie join Genk, but their payoff is a date. you with an underachieving but exceedingly dangerous side of the NYCFC. The stingy defense of the Union (second under goals against in the conference) will be put to the test by Valentin Castellanos, whose 13 goals this season are good for the third best in the league.
4. Orlando City vs. 5. DC United: Orlando’s victory over DC earlier this month was his first win since September 4 and closed a season-long sweep for the nation’s capital club. This contest would bring goals galore, pitting the two worst defenses in the East against each other, and featuring the league’s top scorer in Ola Kamara and one of the conference’s most varied attacks, led by ageless Nani .
Matchmaking: Western Conference
2. Sporting Kansas City vs. 7. Minnesota United: Would the “most beautiful sporting rivalry” live up to its bill in the playoffs? There is no doubt that the people of the Cauldron would welcome their counterparts 550 miles north on I-35, but Johnny Russell is unlikely to provide such a warm welcome to the team that knocked Sporting out of the season playoffs. last in the conference. semi-finals.
3. Colorado Rapids vs. 6. LA Galaxy: Before Sunday’s victory at Minnesota, the last time Colorado beat a team in the playoffs was Aug. 21 against Real Salt Lake. The last time the Galaxy beat someone was a week earlier, against Minnesota. Something should give in this potential game, and our money would be on an LA backline that conceded the second-most goals in the Western Conference.
4. Portland Timbers vs. 5. Real Salt Lake: That RSL is in this position to begin with is an achievement in itself. Manager Freddy Juarez stepped down on August 27 to become Brian Schmetzer’s assistant in Seattle, and since then Salt Lake has won 12 of the 24 available points. But while the Claret and Cobalt stalled, Portland dumped it. In the same eight-game streak, the Timbers are undefeated and have lost points only once – a streak that includes a 6-1 hammering from RSL.