The final weekend of the Major League Soccer regular season is here, and the entire league will wrap up on Sunday. All six playoff spots in the Eastern Conference have been claimed, although spots 2-5 still have to be settled. There will be a lot of jockeying for position.
In the Westeren Conference, five of the six spots have been clinched, and three teams are fighting for one spot going. The Vancouver Whitecaps enter the week as the top team with 52 points but much can change as Portland is in second with 50, Seattle is in third with 50 and Sporting KC is in fourth with 49 points.
Let’s take a look at this week’s power rankings as based on the futures:
1. Toronto FC
Last Week: 1
MLS Cup Odds: +225
Toronto FC scored a 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact at home thanks to a Jozy Altidore goal, and they’re on 68 points, which ties the league record. That is all they have left to go for as Toronto FC will start the playoffs with a bye and play in the conference semifinals at home. They’ll be on the road for their season finale at Atlanta United FC with a chance to break the MLS points record.
2. New York City FC
Last Week: 2
MLS Cup Odds: +600
New York City FC is second in the Eastern Conference after a 2-1 loss on the road against the New England Revolution. Khury Shelton scored in injury time to give NYCFC a chance, while Jack Harrison got a red card in the first half, but it has been rescinded. That means that Harrison can play at home this weekend against the Columbus Crew, and they’re on 56 points, which is only a point ahead of the Chicago Fire, two points ahead of Atlanta United FC and three points ahead of the Crew.
3. Vancouver Whitecaps
Last Week: 4
MLS Cup Odds: +900
The Whitecaps are atop the Western Conference after a 1-1 draw at home against the San Jose Earthquakes as Yordy Reyna scored in the first half, but Vancouver couldn’t hold on to the lead. The Whitecaps still have a two-point lead at the top of the table, which means they can clinch a bye with a win or a tie as they head to Portland on Sunday; the Timbers are the team that trail the Whitecaps by two points, and the Seattle Sounders also have 50 points, along with the Timbers.
4. Atlanta United FC
Last Week: 3
MLS Cup Odds: +1000
Atlanta United FC is fourth in the Eastern Conference after a 0-0 draw on the road against the New York Red Bulls. They’re still in the mix for a bye, but they’ll need New York City FC to lose, and the Chicago Fire to lose or draw, and they need to beat Toronto FC at home on Sunday.
5. Sporting Kansas City
Last Week: 5
MLS Cup Odds: +1000
Sporting Kansas City is fourth in the Western Conference as they drew 0-0 at home with the Houston Dynamo. They’re only three points behind the Whitecaps and one behind Portland and Seattle going into this final game on the road at Real Salt Lake. But they’re only two points ahead of the Dynamo, so Sporting Kansas City can still get passed over and fall to fifth.
6. Portland Timbers
Last Week: 6
MLS Cup Odds: +1000
The Timbers romped to a 4-0 win at home over D.C. United and are second in the Western Conference, two points behind the Whitecaps. Diego Valeri scored from the penalty spot, while Alvas Powell scored in the second half along with Sebastian Blanco, who found the back of the net twice. The Timbers’ home game with the Whitecaps will basically decide who gets the top seed in the Western Conference, which means a home game in the conference finals if they make it that far.
7. Chicago Fire
Last Week: 7
MLS Cup Odds: +1200
The Fire are third in the Eastern Conference as they edged the Philadelphia Union 3-2 at home. Nemanja Nikolic came up big with a hat trick, including the match-winner from the penalty spot, and he now leads the league on his own with 24 goals. Second place and a bye is still within reach for the Fire, who will travel to face the Houston Dynamo in their regular-season finale.
8. Seattle Sounders
Last Week: 8
MLS Cup Odds: +1200
The Sounders are third in the Western Conference after a 4-0 rout of FC Dallas at home, as Will Bruin scored twice, along with singles from Victor Rodriguez and Lamar Neagle. The Sounders are now on 50 points, which ties them with the Timbers, but Portland is ahead because they have one more total win than Seattle. That means the Sounders are basically playing for second as they host the Colorado Rapid this weekend, and second still gets you a bye in the first round.
9. Columbus Crew
Last Week: 9
MLS Cup Odds: +1600
The Crew are fifth in the Eastern Conference after a 1-0 win at Orlando City SC as Ola Kamara scored in the 66th minute, and the Crew are still in the mix for, get this, second in the East. If New York City, Chicago and Atlanta all lose, and the Crew win, they would get second place on 56 points as they would have more total wins than New York City FC and Chicago with 17. That means they have a lot to play for as they head on the road to take on NYCFC.
10. New York Red Bulls
Last Week: 10
MLS Cup Odds: +2000
The Red Bulls are locked into the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference after their goalless draw at home with Atlanta United FC, and right now, they’re just waiting on the rest of the Eastern Conference to shake itself out and see who they’ll meet in the first round of the playoffs. They can’t move ahead, and they can’t be caught, so the Red Bulls are actually in the advantageous position of being able to rest players going into their finale on the road at D.C. United. No results will mean anything to them in the standings, so for being the sixth team in the postseason, the Red Bulls are sitting pretty.
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