After Saturday night's results, the playoff picture is... slightly clearer. After 29 League games (save for Chivas USA, who has played 28), five teams have locked up playoff spots. Three post-season spots remain heading into the final week of the season, and seven different teams will be fighting to fill those last slots.
United kept its post-season hopes alive tonight with a gritty 1-0 win over the best team in the League at RFK Stadium. Though there are a ton of possible tie-breakers, here are a few of the possible ways D.C. can make the MLS Cup playoffs.
1) If United loses at KC, it will not qualify for the playoffs.
2) If United draws at KC, it would need at least two of the following results to occur:
- New England to lose at Columbus.
- Toronto FC to lose at New York.
- Real Salt Lake to draw or lose vs. Colorado.
- FC Dallas to draw or lose at Seattle.
3) If United wins at KC, the following could happen...
- FC Dallas could win, draw or lose and have no effect.
... and D.C. would need two of the following to occur
- Chicago to lose vs. Chivas USA.
- Colorado to draw or lose at Real Salt Lake.
- New England to draw or lose at Columbus.
- Toronto FC to draw or lose New York.
There are a ton of tie-breaker possibilities that we'll be working on figuring out over the weekend. The only teams United owns the head-to-head tie breaker against (the first determining factor in a tie in points) is Chicago and Dallas.
Bottom line: a win goes a long way towards seeing the Black-and-Red return to the post-season.