FRISCO, Texas — With Decision Day presented by AT&T less than a week away, the Audi 2019 MLS Playoffs are right around the corner. After Sunday's games, five teams in the Western Conference have now clinched playoff berths — LAFC, Minnesota United FC, LA Galaxy, the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake. That means just two spots are left for four remaining teams in the hunt.
Since the playoff race will be decided on 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 Sporting Kansas City, on Sunday, October 6 at Toyota Stadium.
Now, let's get into some playoff scenarios for FC Dallas if the season ended today.
As it stands, FC Dallas would be in the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, and the team would be matched up with No. 2 seed Minnesota United. FC Dallas is currently one point behind sixth-placed Portland Timbers and just one point ahead of the eight-seeded San Jose Earthquakes, who lost Sunday night to the Seattle Sounders. The winner of FCD and Minnesota United would go on to face the winner of the Seattle-Portland match, and both would be on the road as FC Dallas would be the lowest seed in the playoffs.
The situation on Decision Day is simple — win, and FC Dallas is in the playoffs. A draw would also get FCD over the line and into the playoffs as Portland and San Jose will face off next Sunday. Colorado is still technically in the hunt, but needs a FC Dallas loss and a Portland win while beating LAFC as well.
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.