Decision day arrives in MLS and Chaos Reigns, as usual


For a Major League Soccer team, the New England Revolutionary Decision Day, winner of the Supporters’ Shield, is just a formality.

But for 11 other teams, the final day of the regular season will mean either securing one of the six remaining playoff spots or coming home early for the offseason.

There are three playoff spots that still haven’t been officially claimed in each conference and the seeds are still largely pending, setting the stage for a chaotic Sunday. A bit of perspective: Last season there were only five teams still alive in contention for two places.

Four teams clinched spots in the Eastern Conference: New England, Philadelphia, Nashville and NYCFC. Atlanta United, Orlando City, New York Red Bulls, Montreal, DC United and defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew are still vying for the playoff positions.

In the Western Conference, the Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City, Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers have already won. Minnesota, Vancouver Whitecaps, LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake and LAFC are still vying for three spots.

Salt Lake will need a win at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday to secure a spot. RSL had two home chances to win, but lost back-to-back games to the Earthquakes and Timbers.

It’s up to us and we’ll have to do it the right way and the hardest way possible, which is the last road game of the season against a good Kansas City team. It won’t be easy, but if there is a 1% chance, we still have to believe and take advantage of this chance we have on Sunday, said Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak.

After the chaos that is decision day, the league is taking an international break. The playoffs begin on November 20.

SHIELD CLAIM

The Revolution has already set a single-season winning record with 73, beating LAFC’s mark of 72 in 2019. New England can inflate the record when the team faces off against Inter Miami, who have already been knocked out.

The Revs claimed the 73rd win last week in a 1-0 win over the Rapids.

I guess they accomplished more than any team in league history, ”coach Bruce Arena told reporters afterwards. “It’s a hell of a story. So you all have something to write. You don’t have to write about trainings and all the other stuff. You can write about it. It could be a story essay.

Speaking of Arena, he tied Sigi Schmids’ record for most career wins at 240, and could beat him with a win over Miami.

TOO CLOSE TO CALL

There are three teams in the West that are still clamoring to be ranked first.

The Seattle Sounders are just one point ahead of Sporting Kansas City and Colorado Rapids. Meanwhile, regardless of Sunday’s results, the Timbers are the fourth seed.

ALREADY DONE

The only team among the 27 clubs in the league to have already completed their season is the Houston Dynamo, which lost 2-0 to Montreal on Wednesday.

The Dynamo finished bottom of the Western Conference with just six wins this season. On Thursday, the team parted ways with coach Tab Ramos after just two seasons.

KEY GAMES IN THE EAST

Atlanta, which is almost in the playoffs, would have to drop to last Cincinnati by eight goals to lose its spot. … Montreal needs a home win over Orlando to enter, but Orlando can clinch a tie. … The Red Bulls need at least a tie in Nashville to secure a spot. … Columbus needs to beat Chicago and a lot of help to stand a chance at defending. DC United also need help and a win over host Toronto.

Seeding remains to be determined, with the exception of the seed, which goes to Revs.

THE KEY GAMES OF THE WEST

RSL needs a Kansas City win to make the playoffs, while Vancouver needs at least one home draw against the Sounders to qualify. LAFC must win in Colorado and get some help. … Minnesota need a win or a road tie against the Galaxy, while Los Angeles need to win and get some help to get in.

The standings, with the exception of the Timbers in fourth place, are pending.

THE GOLD BOOT

The title of top scorer of the regular season will also be claimed on Sunday. NYCFC’s Taty Castellanos is currently on the field with 18 goals, but DC United’s Ola Kamara and Seattle’s Raul Ruidiaz each have 17. Sporting’s Daniel Salloi and New England’s Adam Buksa each have 16 goals.

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