Hang on to your knickers

Yes, the NYRBs claimed the final playoff spot.  But the playoff seeding is far from settled.   Due to the MLS tie-breaking mechanisms, the playoff table could go any number of ways.

What we know with certainty:

1.  LA is the overall 1 seed and the 1 seed in the West.

2.  Seattle is the overall 2 seed and the 2 seed in the West.

3.  The RBs and Colorado are WC teams.

4.  Either FCD or RSL will finish 3rd overall and the 3rd seed in the West and the other team will be the top seeded WC.  FCD holds the heads up tie breaker.


After that, its a free for all.  Any of the remaining 4 Eastern Conference teams can win the East or finish as a WC.   KC controls their own destiny and currently holds all of the potential tie breakers with teams that can tie them, but even this could change.  If Houston and Columbus both win and KC loses by 2 or more goals, they lose the Goal Differential tie-breaker to Philly.

Here are the three tiebreakers that are in play:

1.  Head to head results between all of the teams with the same point total.

2.  Goal differential for the entire season.

3.  Total goals for the entire season.

It's easy to compare the head to head results of any two teams.  Where it gets interesting is when you start looking at the scenarios where three teams finish tied.

Example 1:  Colorado, NY and Houston all finish tied at 46.  Colorado wins the head to head tiebreaker and then NY wins the GD criteria.

Example 2:  Columbus, KC and Philly all finish at 48.  Columbus wins the overall head to head competition and then the KC/Philly result depends on how badly KC lost.

Example 3:  But if Columbus ties either Philly or KC singly, Philly and KC claim the higher seed by virtue of GD.


Since almost everyone of these teams is playing a team playing for pride, the plot thickens.  Houston has the only playoff bound opponent in LA.  LA is playing to set a record for most points in a season but that isn't the same level of incentive that Houston has playing at home.  Houston can still win the East if they win and KC and Columbus both lose or KC loses and Columbus draws.

Hold onto to your knickers boys and girls.  This could get interesting.



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