MLS Cup Playoffs Race Update - Week of Oct. 15

COMMERCE CITY CO (Updated 10/15/07) –Following their thrilling win vs. Chivas USA on Sunday your Colorado Rapids enter this coming weekend's MLS action facing their final match of the regular season! The Rapids need to win as well as get some help from other teams in order to qualify for the playoffs.
The Rapids can be eliminated from playoff contention this weekend if they fail to win against Salt Lake at home on Saturday or if Chicago and Kansas City both post wins. If the Rapids and one of the other teams in contention for the final playoff spots end up tied the tiebreaker will be based on goal differential to decide who qualifies for the postseason.
The race to the MLS Cup Playoffs has come down to a dramatic final week of the regular season. Four teams – the Chicago Fire Kansas City Wizards Colorado Rapids and Los Angeles Galaxy – are all vying for the two remaining playoff spots.
Chicago are in the driver’s seat because by the time they host the Galaxy on Sunday the Fire will know exactly how many points if any they will need to secure from that game. Kansas City controls their own destiny as a win against host FC Dallas on Saturday will send the Wizards to the postseason regardless of other results.
The Galaxy is the only team with two games remaining including a supercharged MLS Primetime Thursday match this week against the New York Red Bulls on ESPN2 (9 p.m. MT).
Over the weekend D.C. United clinched the Supporters’ Shield given to the Major League Soccer team with the best regular season record and became the first team to earn the honor two years in a row. United will be the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
New England has secured the second seed in the East and New York is the third seed. New England and New York will face each other in an Eastern Conference Semifinal Series with the Red Bulls hosting the first game on Saturday Oct. 27 at Giants Stadium. New England will host the second game on Saturday Nov. 3 at Gillette Stadium.
If Houston earn at least a point against Real Salt Lake on Monday night it will set up a showdown with the Dynamo versus Chivas USA on Saturday night for the top seed in the Western Conference.
Below are the scenarios in which teams could clinch or be eliminated this week:

THIS WEEK'S SCENARIOS
The Colorado Rapids will clinch a playoff spot IF:
-Colorado defeat Real Salt Lake on Saturday AND any two of the following occur:
Los Angeles does not win both their games this week
Chicago lose or tie Saturday
Kansas City lose Saturday
Kansas City tie Saturday and Colorado defeat RSL by three goals
Colorado will be eliminated from playoff contention IF:
-Colorado fail to win against Real Salt Lake on Saturday OR IF any two of the following occur:
Chicago win Saturday
Kansas City win Saturday
Los Angeles win both their games this week
Note: Because Colorado and Kansas City tied both times they met this season their placing will be determined by goal differential if they finish the season tied in points.
Chicago Fire will clinch a playoff spot IF:
-Chicago defeat LA on Sunday OR IF
-Chicago tie LA on Sunday AND any two of the following occur:
LA fail to win against NY on Thursday
Kansas City lose to FC Dallas on Saturday
-Colorado fail to win against RSL on Saturday OR IF
Chicago lose to LA on Sunday AND any two of the following occur:
LA lose to NY on Thursday
Kansas City lose to FC Dallas on Saturday
Colorado fail to win against RSL on Saturday
Chicago Fire will be eliminated from playoff contention IF:
-Chicago tie LA on Sunday AND both of the following occur:
Kansas City defeat FC Dallas Saturday
Colorado defeat RSL on Saturday OR IF:
-Chicago lose to LA on Sunday AND any two of the following occur:
LA earn at least a point against NY on Thursday
Kansas City earn at least a point against FC Dallas on Saturday
Colorado defeat RSL on Saturday
Los Angeles Galaxy:
-If LA defeat NY on Thursday the Galaxy will clinch a playoff spot IF:
-LA tie or defeat Chicago on Sunday AND either of the following occur:
Colorado fail to win against Real Salt Lake on Saturday
Kansas City lose to FC Dallas on Saturday
If LA tie NY on Thursday the Galaxy will clinch a playoff spot IF:
-LA defeat Chicago on Sunday AND either of the following occur:
Colorado fail to win against RSL on Saturday
Kansas City lose to FC Dallas on Saturday
Los Angeles will be eliminated from playoff contention IF:
-LA lose to New York on Thursday OR IF:
-LA tie New York on Thursday AND
LA tie or lose to Chicago next Sunday
Kansas City Wizards will clinch a playoff spot IF:
-Kansas City defeat FC Dallas on Saturday OR
-Kansas City tie FC Dallas on Saturday AND any two of the following occur:
LA fail to win BOTH of its two games
Colorado fail to win against Real Salt Lake on Saturday
Colorado win by less than three goals
Chicago lose to LA on Sunday
Kansas City will be eliminated from playoff contention IF:
-Kansas City lose to FC Dallas on Saturday AND either of the following occur:
Colorado defeat Real Salt Lake
-LA earn six points from its two games OR IF
-Kansas City tie FC Dallas on Saturday AND any two of the following occur:
Chicago earn at least a point against LA on Saturday
Colorado defeat Real Salt Lake by three goals on Saturday
LA earns six points from its two games
Other important permutations of this week’s games include:
Chivas USA:
-Will clinch first place in the Western Conference IF:
Houston lose to Real Salt Lake on Monday OR
Chivas USA tie or defeat Houston on Saturday
Houston Dynam
-Will clinch first place in the Western Conference IF:
Houston tie or defeat Real Salt Lake on Monday AND
Houston defeat Chivas USA on Saturday

CURRENT PLAYOFF POSITIONS (AS OF 10/15/07)
Team Points Games Left Max Pts.
*D.C. United 55 1 58
*Chivas USA 52 1 55
*NE Revolution 49 1 52
*Houston Dynamo 48 2 54
*FC Dallas 44 1 47
*NY Red Bulls 42 1 45
Chicago Fire 37 1 40
Kansas City Wizards 37 1 40
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Colorado Rapids 35 1 38
#-Columbus Crew 34 1 37
LA Galaxy 33 2 39
#-Toronto FC 24 1 27
#-Real Salt Lake 24 2 30
Key:
*Have clinched a playoff spot
#Eliminated from playoff contention
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. Chicago Fire
New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls
Western Conference Semifinals
Chivas USA vs. Kansas City Wizards*
Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas
*As the fifth team to qualify from the Eastern Conference Kansas City would shift over to become the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoff bracket.
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.
REMAINING GAMES OF THE 2007 M.L.S. REGULAR SEASON
(All times Mountain)
Monday October 15
Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake 7:00 p.m.
Thursday October 18
New York Red Bulls at Los Angeles Galaxy 9:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday October 20
New England Revolution at Toronto FC 10:30 a.m. (HDNet CBC)
Columbus Crew at D.C. United 5:30 p.m.
Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids 7:00 p.m.
Houston Dynamo at Chivas USA 8:30 p.m.
Sunday October 21
Los Angeles Galaxy at Chicago Fire 1:00 p.m. (TeleFutura)