The day of decision making in the MLS has arrived. For the competition it is an achievement in the KOVID 19 pandemic that we have just achieved, although we want to see how the MLS Cup play-offs themselves will unfold.
– MLS Playoffs: Who is in, who is out and all relevant information
– MLS Regular Season: Updated Scoreboard
– Live feeds from MLS games, retransmitted to ESPN+ (US only)
Next, the trophy and post-season match and seeding zone positions will be determined in a generously proportioned play-off match that will include 10 qualifiers from the Eastern Conference and 8 from the Western.
That’s how it’s gonna be this weekend.
Two teams have focused on the shield.
Wednesday’s results, which include a 2-1 2 loss to Columbus Crew SC 2-1 to 10 in the city of Orlando and a 1-0 loss to Colorado Rapids by Portland Timbers, mean that only the Union of Philadelphia and Toronto FC remain with fan protection. (Orlando could have caught them both on points, but he lost in the tiebreak with victories in the game).
Last week, Union had the chance to lock the trophy, but it fell to team 2-1 and the TFC did their job by beating Inter Miami CF 2-1. Philadelphia, however, retains control over the fate of the shield. All Philadelphia has to do is compare or improve Toronto’s results and they qualify for the first trophy in their history.
Both teams face difficult challenges. The Union will revolutionize New England, and Toronto will travel to Harrison, New Jersey, to fight the New York Red Bull. Of the two, Philadelphia seems to have a small advantage. In the last three games, Union has won two and pulled one, while Philadelphia has an ideal 8-0 home record this season. And yet the Union is not doing well.
Goalkeeper Andre Blake came out with a broken arm and although Joe Bendik did his best to compete with the team, he did not match the level of the man he replaced. That should change Sunday. Midfielder Jose Martinez was able to bring the ball back, which would give manager Jim Curtin a huge boost.
New England heals on time and the designated player triumphs with Carl Gil, Gustavo Boo and Adam Booksoo – all in good health.
There’s not much history yet. The Union is on the brink of several important victories and will reach the finals of the Open Cup in 2014, 2015 and 2018. The claim that Sunday’s panel will be a breakthrough for this site.
The following matches will be broadcast live on ESPN+ (USA) :
SATURDAY, BEGINNER. 7
– Leipzig/Freiburg (9.30 ET)
– Dortmund/Bavaria (12.30 ET)
SUNDAY, NOV. 8
– Atalanta vs Inter (9.00 ET)
– Leverkusen vs Gladbach (12.00 ET)
– Milan vs Verona (14.45 ET)
– New York Red Bull vs Toronto (15.30 ET)
– Seattle vs San Jose (18.30 ET)
As far as Toronto is concerned, the Reds are also a bit worried, with Pablo Piatti and Justin Morrow doubting the Red Bulls’ match against Josie Altidoré. In this year’s only regular season game, teams pulled 1-1, but the extra hardships the TFC has had to endure this season – including the need to play some home games in East Hartford, Connecticut – have made the red a little more difficult.
Given manager Greg Vanny’s passionate comments about the shield when it looked like it wouldn’t be awarded this season, there’s no doubt that Toronto will be sufficiently motivated. The same goes for Red Bull, who are looking forward to the first round of qualifying at the end of November.
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Herculez Gomez explains why Javier Cicharito Hernandez will stay in the Milky Way of Los Angeles despite his bad game.
Mainly located in the west
Leave it to the team that stands best for chaos to clean up the Western Conference playoffs. San Jose Earthquakes’ 3-2 win over LAFK, which for the first time since 2017 completed the transformation from a conference format to a play-off qualification format of earthquakes, has locked all post-season participants in. Their chaotic approach will be synonymous with observation, victory or loss.
Craig Burley, Shaka Hislop and others have joined Dan Thomas to bring you the latest news and discuss the most important plots. Flows to ESPN+ (USA only).
The Rapids also deserve much praise, the rally for a few victories and the post-season qualification after the COWID-19 threatened to end their campaign and led to a significant shortening of the calendar. The two victories over Seattle Saunders and Timbers meant that the Rapids would have qualified, even if the league had used the same points – instead of points per game – to determine the ranking.
This means that in the West only the positioning has to be decided. Sports Kansas City has an indoor track to qualify for first place in the West. The victory over Real Salt Lake, who have nothing but pride, will do their job, even if Seattle and Portland are still in dispute.
– End of season scenarios (via MLS)
– MLS points for tournaments (via MLS) | Calendar | Statistics
There is also an incentive to gain an advantage in the domestic arena, at least in the first round. In this respect, the race between Minnesota United and Dallas is the most exciting, as Les Lunes are just behind Dallas in the general classification, although LAFK and Rapids could climb into the top four.
Drama in the East
In addition to the search for the fanteken, the Eastern Conference will focus on the derby stage, where the last two play-off matches will take place. Five teams – Montreal Impact, Chicago Fire, Atlanta United, Miami Force Inter and Washington United – are still fighting for a place in the post-season.
It’s surprising that one of these teams is still out hunting, but MLS’s post-season generosity continues to grow. It is possible that an average score of 1.0 is achieved in one of the qualifying tournaments, a dubious score that breaks the record after the 1.1 score of the 2004 revolution.
Montreal and Chicago have their respective fates in their hands, with the shock wave that spread to Washington, which apparently was still spent a few weeks ago, but which was rejuvenated under the leadership of acting director Chad Ashton. Winger Paul Arriola could have made a shocking comeback earlier this year after ACL surgery, which would have helped the long black-and-red bet. Chicago faces a tough task against the official FC New York team, especially after the midweek when they took a two-point lead in the game against Minnesota.
It’s a shame that Atlanta United is in this situation, given the peaks they’ve reached in their first three seasons, but here they are and they need a result against Columbus to have any hope of progress in the post-season. And yes, Inter Miami is also still discussing perhaps the simplest of the nominations: a home game with Cincinnati FC.