MLS Cup Playoff Race Update - Week of Sept. 17

NEW YORK (Updated 9/17/07) – By winning their respective matches over the weekend the New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo secured berths in the 2007 MLS Cup Playoffs bringing the total number of teams to clinch a spot to three. D.C. United clinched a spot last Wednesday.
Five spots remain unclaimed as 10 teams vie for a chance to reach MLS Cup 2007 on Nov. 18 in Washington D.C. Among those Chivas USA is the closest to clinching as only a wild sequence of outcomes could remove them from playoff contention.
While the Colorado Rapids could match Chivas USA’s current point total of 44 they would need to make up a large margin in goal differential to win the tiebreaker. Thus Chivas USA can clinch with a win or a tie in their next game. FC Dallas could also clinch this week with a win and some help from other results.
THIS WEEK'S SCENARIOS
Chivas USA:
Will clinch a playoff spot IF:
-Chivas USA defeat or ties Kansas City on Saturday
FC Dallas:
Will clinch a playoff spot IF:
-FC Dallas defeat Chicago on Thursday AND
-Colorado lose to Real Salt Lake on Saturday AND
-Columbus fail to win against Toronto FC on Saturday
No other teams can clinch playoff berths this weekend but none can be mathematically eliminated either. The regular season ends on Oct. 21 and the MLS Cup Playoffs begin Thursday Oct. 25 on ESPN2.
CURRENT PLAYOFF POSITIONS (AS OF 9/17/07)
Team Points Games Left Max Pts.
*D.C. United 49 5 64
*NE Revolution 45 5 60
*Houston Dynamo 45 4 57
Chivas USA 44 6 62
FC Dallas 39 6 57
NY Red Bulls 37 5 52
Kansas City Wizards 36 5 51
Chicago Fire 30 6 48
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Colorado Rapids 29 5 44
Columbus Crew 28 5 43
Toronto FC 21 6 39
Real Salt Lake 19 6 37
LA Galaxy 17 8 41
Key:
*Have clinched a playoff spot
Top 4 teams – Automatic berths in MLS Cup Playoffs
Next 4 teams – Wildcard berths in MLS Cup Playoffs
Beneath line - Currently not in playoff position
IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY
If the season ended today the eight teams below would qualify. They are listed according to their would-be opponents in two-game aggregate goals playoff series:
Eastern Conference Semifinals
D.C. United vs. Kansas City Wizards
New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls
Western Conference Semifinals
Houston Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire*
Chivas USA vs. FC Dallas
*As the fifth team to qualify from the Eastern Conference Chicago would shift over to become the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoff bracket. Full qualification and seeding procedure is below.
MLS CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS:
Game 1: Thurs. Oct. 25 – Sun. Oct. 28
Game 2: Thurs. Nov. 1 – Sun. Nov. 4
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS:
Game 1: Thurs. Oct. 25 – Sun. Oct. 28
Game 2: Thurs. Nov. 1 – Sun. Nov. 4
CONFERENCE FINALS :
Thurs. Nov. 8 teams and site TBD (ESPN2)
Sat. Nov. 10 teams and site TBD
MLS CUP 2007
Sun. Nov. 18 10am MST (ABC) at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.
QUALIFICATION AND SEEDING
-Eight teams qualify for the 2007 MLS Cup Playoffs
-Playoff berths will be determined by points in the standings upon the completion of the regular season on Oct. 21; all 13 teams will have played 30 games.
-If two teams are tied on points the first tiebreaker is head-to-head results the second tiebreaker is goal differential and the third is goals scored for the season.
-The top two teams in each conference qualify and are seeded 1 & 2 in their respective four-team playoff conference brackets.
-The four MLS teams with the next most points regardless of conference receive "wildcard" berths.
-The four wildcard teams will be seeded according to conference first.
-If more than four teams qualify from one conference those finishing lower than fourth in their conference will shift over to the other conference bracket.
-A team switching conference brackets will be seeded below all other teams in its new conference playoff bracket.
MLS GAMES THIS WEEKEND
(All times Mountain)
Wednesday September 19
Los Angeles Galaxy at Real Salt Lake 7:00 p.m. (HDNet)
Thursday September 20
Chicago Fire at FC Dallas 6:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday September 22
Columbus Crew at Toronto FC 1:30 p.m. (CBC)
New England Revolution at New York Red Bulls 5:30 p.m. (HDNet)
Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake 7:30 p.m. (FSC FSE)
Kansas City Wizards at Chivas USA 8:30 p.m.
Sunday September 23
D.C. United at Chicago Fire 1:00 p.m. (TeleFutura)
FC Dallas at Los Angeles Galaxy 6:00 p.m. (HDNet)