The playoff picture is nearly complete...at least in so far as who is in and who is out. New York holds their fate in their own hands. If they win at Philadelphia, they are in. Only Portland, with wins in their remaining two games can catch them in points, and New York, with a win and a tie vs. the Timbers (1-0-1), holds the head to head tiebreaker (4pts - 1 pt).
So...logic would dictate that if New York loses and Portland wins one and loses one (leaving them tied in points)...New York would still hold that head to head tiebreaker....right? Maybe yes, maybe no. The tiebreak rules for head to head stipulate that the team with the best record against ALL teams on the same point total is awarded the edge. IF Chicago wins as well in this situation, that would tie all three teams at 43. New York and Chicago tied both of their games leaving New York with the 4 pts above plus 2pts for the draws...6 pts. Portland, however, dispatched the Fire in both meetings....6 pts.....plus 1pt for the tie vs. NY. Portland suddenly holds the "head to head" tiebreaker vs. the Energy Drinks and advances to the playoffs (unless they don't...DC could surpass everyone in this scenario!).
Enjoy all that is MLS playoff season. If the idea of the expanded playoff pool is to maintain intrigue to the last (in lieu of relegation)...mission accomplished.
PS - If we DID rely on relegation for that "intrigue" ... there would be none. New England, Vancouver and Toronto (on GD tiebreaker) would already be sent down. Not an endorsement of either system...just an interesting note.