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Playoff picture

With only seven weeks of regular season play left in the 2009 season, teams are vying for the right to move on to the MLS Cup playoffs. D.C. United is in the thick of the race, currently tied for the 7th and 8th playoff spots with three other teams. 

Below is the current standings, broken down as best as possible, given that some teams have played more game than others. 

Eastern Conference – automatic berths
Columbus 39 points
Chicago 38 points
 
Western Conference – automatic berths
Houston 40 points
Los Angeles 38
points
 
Wildcard berths
Colorado 36 points
Seattle 34 points
New England 33
points
Chivas USA 33
points
 
Currently out of playoffs (kind of)
Real Salt Lake 33 points
D.C. United 33
points
Toronto 31
points  
Kansas City 24 points
Dallas 24 points
San Jose 20 points
New York 16 points 
 
Current Conference Semifinals:
Eastern

Columbus vs. Chivas USA

Chicago vs. New England

 
Western

Houston vs. Seattle

Los Angeles vs. Colorado 
 
As a reminder, here are the qualification details (from MLSnet.com):
 
Eight teams qualify for the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs. Playoff berths will be determined by points in the standings upon the completion of the regular season. All 15 teams will have played 30 games. 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, the team finishing lower than fourth in its 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.
 
A more detailed table with each team's record, points per game and remaining League schedule, as well as playoff tiebreakers, are available after the jump. 
 
Team, points (record) points per game
(Remaining League games)
 
Eastern Conference – automatic berths
Columbus 39 points (10-4-9) 1.69 ppg
(v. HOU, @ CHI, v. LA, v. SEA, @ NE, @ DC, v. NE)
 
Chicago 38 points (10-6-8)
1.58 ppg
(@ RSL, v. CLB, v. TFC, @ LA, @ NE, v. CHV)
 
Western Conference – automatic berths
Houston 40 points (11-7-7) 1.6 ppg

(@ CLB, v. RSL, v. KC, v. LA, @ CHV)
 
Los Angeles 38
points (9-4-11) 1.58 ppg
(v. FCD, v. TFC, @ CLB, v. CHI, @ HOU, v. SJ)
 
Wildcard berths
Colorado 36 points
(10-7-6) 1.56 ppg
(@ TFC, @ SJ, v. SJ, @ KC, v. NE, @ FCD, @ RSL)
 
Seattle 34 points (8-6-10) 1.41 ppg
(@ DC, v. CHV, @ NE, @ CLB, @ KC, v. FCD)
 
New England 33
points (9-7-6) 1.5 ppg
(@ CHV, @ NY, v. SEA, @ FCD, @ COL, v. CLB, v. CHI, @ CLB)
 
Chivas USA 33
points (10-9-3) 1.5 ppg
(v. NE, @ SEA, v. NY, @ DC, v. KC, v. SJ, @ CHI, v. HOU)
 
Currently out of playoffs (kind of)
Real Salt Lake 33 points (9-9-6) 1.37 ppg

(v. CHI, @ HOU, @ FCD, v. NY, @ TFC, v. COL)
 
D.C. United 33
points (7-5-12) 1.37 ppg
(v. KC, v. SEA, v. SJ, v. CHV, v. CLB, @ KC)
 
Toronto 31
points (8-9-7) 1.29 ppg
(v. COL, @ LA, @ CHI, v. SJ, v. RSL, @ NY)
 
Kansas City 24 points (6-10-6) 1.09 ppg

(@ DC, @ NY, v. FCD, v. COL, @ HOU, @ CHV, v. SEA, v. DC)
 
Dallas 24 points (6-11-6) 1.04 ppg

(@ LA, @ KC, v. RSL, v. NE, @ SJ, v. COL, @ SEA)
 
San Jose 20 points (5-12-5) 0.90 ppg
(v. COL, @ COL, @ DC, v. NY, v. FCD, @ TFC, @ CHV, @ LA)
 
New York 16 points (4-16-4) 0.66 ppg
(v. KC, v. NE, @ CHV, @ SJ, @ RSL, v. TFC)
 
Team-standings tie-breaking procedures
The team awarded the highest position in the MLS standings will be the team with the greatest number of points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss). In the event that two teams finish the regular season with an equal number of points, the following system will be used to break the tie:
 

1) The highest position shall be awarded to the team with the better win/loss record in current regular season games against all other teams equal in points. (head-to-head competition)

 

2) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team with the greater goal difference against all other teams during the regular season. (goal differential)

 

3) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team scoring the greatest number of total goals against all other teams during the regular season. (total goals)

 

4) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the procedures described in this section shall be applied only to games played on the road by each team against all other teams during the regular season. (road 1-3)

 

5) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the procedures described in this section shall be applied only to games played at home by each team against all other teams during the regular season. (home 1-3)

 

6) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team with the fewest team disciplinary points in the League Fair Play table during the regular season.

 

7) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position in the standings shall be determined by the toss of a coin.

 

8) The first tiebreaker in a three-way tie is also head-to-head, but it is determined via points-per-game versus the other two teams. If two teams are tied in points-per-game head-to-head, the next tie breaker is goal difference.

 

NOTE: If two clubs remain tied after another club with the same number of points advances during any step, the tie breaker reverts to step 1 of the two-club format.