Four MLS 2012 playoff spots still up for grabs

With the international break almost behind us, Major League Soccer returns to action this week with two heavyweights battling for the second spot in the Western Conference. Photo: D.C. United

WASHINGTON, October 16, 2012 — With the international break almost behind us, Major League Soccer returns to action this week with two heavyweights battling for the second spot in the Western Conference. The Seattle Sounders (52 points) hosts Real Salt Lake (55 pts.) on Wednesday night in game that is looking like a rehearsal for the semifinal conference playoff game in November. Both teams have secured playoff spots, but four clubs (three from the East, one from the West) are still scrambling to secure postseason play.

Coming up on Saturday, Oct. 20, three Eastern Conference teams have the opportunity to clinch playoff berths.

The Columbus Crew (49 pts) will travel to RFK Stadium to play D.C. United (54 pts.) in a fight to stay alive in the playoff hunt. United looks like it has the upper hand in this game and are set to claim its first playoff spot in four years.

If United defeats Columbus, the remaining three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference could be all decided by Saturday night. United is on a roll, having gone 4-0-1 in its last five games and has made RFK a fortress. It’s fan “Appreciation Night” at the United game. The first 10,000 fans will all get team posters and all items in the team store will be discounted.

The New York Red Bulls (53 pts.) hosts Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City (59 pts.), while Houston (50 pts.) welcomes the Philadelphia Union (36 pts.) in the other two big playoff-hunting games in the conference.

In the Western Conference, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (42 pts.) will have a chance to secure their first MLS Cup playoff appearance on Sunday, Oct. 21. If the second-year club beats Portland they are guaranteed one of the playoff spots.

Also coming up on Sunday, October 21, is an exciting game between the Los Angeles Galaxy (50 pts.) when David Beckham and Co. visit the high-flying San Jose Earthquakes (64 pts). The Earthquakes, who have sown up the top spot in the conference, will be looking to win the Supporters Shield and the opportunity to host the MLS Cup. The Galaxy will be hoping to get a win as well as hoping Seattle slips up. 

See Below for all the PLAYOFF SCENARIOS provided by MLS.

D.C. United will clinch a playoff spot IF
        D.C. United win or tie vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday
OR
        Houston Dynamo lose vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday

New York Red Bulls will clinch a playoff spot IF
       New York Red Bulls win vs. Sporting Kansas City on Saturday
OR
         Columbus Crew lose vs. D.C. United on Saturday
OR
       New York Red Bulls tie vs. Sporting Kansas City on Saturday AND
       Houston Dynamo lose vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday

OR

       Columbus Crew tie vs. D.C. United on Saturday

Houston Dynamo will clinch a playoff spot IF
         Houston Dynamo win vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday
AND
         Columbus Crew lose vs. D.C. United on Saturday

Vancouver Whitecaps FC will clinch a playoff spot IF
        Vancouver Whitecaps FC win vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday
OR
         FC Dallas lose vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday
OR
        Vancouver Whitecaps FC tie vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday AND
         FC Dallas tie vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday

San Jose Earthquakes will win the Supporters’ Shield IF
        San Jose Earthquakes win vs. LA Galaxy on Sunday
OR
        Sporting Kansas City lose or tie vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday

Source: MLS

For 20 years John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon


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John Haydon

John Haydon has covered soccer for The Washington Times for two decades. He has reported on international soccer events in Germany, South Korea and Spain. John hails from Birmingham, England and has lived in the Washington D.C. region for over twenty years.  

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