FRISCO, Texas — The Audi 2019 MLS Playoffs are right around the corner, and FC Dallas is currently in the middle of a tight race for the six remaining spots up for grabs. Just four points separates second and eighth place in the Western Conference with just five games to go for the majority of teams.
Since it looks like the playoff race will most likely be decided as late as Decision Day, presented by AT&T, we're going to keep track of everything going on in the Western Conference to keep the fans updated on what FC Dallas' situation would look like if the MLS Playoffs started today. FC Dallas' next match is against the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday, September 18.
Before we get into FC Dallas' current standing, the new playoff format must be discussed. Not all fans know about the new format, and it will heavily affect the way teams prepare for opponents in the playoffs. This season will mark the first time MLS will have a fixed playoff bracket with a single-elimination format instead of a matchup with two legs in each round. The higher seed in each matchup will be the home team.
The playoffs will also start and finish earlier than previous seasons due to each matchup only having one game instead of two. The dates are subject to change, but the playoffs will last for about three weeks between the first match and the MLS Cup.
Now, let's get into some playoff scenarios for FC Dallas if the season ended today.
Well, it was a day to forget Saturday afternoon as FC Dallas fell to the Chicago Fire, 4-0. Various lapses at the back resulted in four first-half goals for the Fire, and from there, they never looked back. To make things worse, LA Galaxy earned a 7-2 victory the following night behind a hat trick from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to catapult over FC Dallas and into sixth place in the Western Conference. Portland dropped to seventh place in the west, with a game in hand and a point ahead of FCD for the last playoff spot.
FC Dallas now faces a must-win game at Seattle on Wednesday in a road fixture which the team has not won since 2011. The Sounders come into the match in second place in the west with 49 points — six more than FC Dallas. FCD can't afford to lose this match if it wants to reduce as much drama as possible heading into the last three games of the regular season.