NEW YORK – The field of eight teams may already be set heading into the final weekend of the regular season, but the remaining 90 minutes will be decisive in determining the final match-ups.
The top two seeds in the East have been established with the New York Red Bulls clinching the top spot in the East and the Columbus Crew securing second place. The Crew and Red Bulls will await the final standings of the Western Conference to determine which two opponents will cross over to the East bracket.
Eastern Conference Semifinal Series:
New York Red Bulls (#1) vs. SJ Earthquakes (#4) OR Colorado Rapids (#4)
Columbus Crew (#2) vs. SJ Earthquakes (#3) OR Seattle Sounders (#3) OR Colorado Rapids (#3)
Things are a lot more fluid in the West, where the only sure thing is that the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake are guaranteed to occupy the top two seeds.
The league-leading LA Galaxy (56 points) and defending MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake (55 points) are contending for the Supporters’ Shield and the Western Conference regular season title. Should they finish tied on points, RSL will finish above LA by virtue of the goal differential tiebreaker.
Western Conference Semifinal Series:
LA Galaxy (#1) OR Real Salt Lake (#1) vs. FC Dallas (#4) OR Seattle Sounders (#4) OR Colorado Rapids (#4) OR SJ Earthquakes (#4)
LA Galaxy (#2) OR Real Salt Lake (#2) vs. FC Dallas (#3) OR Seattle Sounders (#3)
FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders, Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes are assured of playing host to first-leg matches the week of Oct. 28.
The LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew will host the second match of the home-and-home aggregate goal semifinal series.