Eastern Conference Playoffapalooza!

(Image: wvhooligan.com)

The West is set. The East is not.

Aside from SKC, we don’t yet know how things will shake out. Seeds #2-5 are up for grabs, and there are a number of possibilities. So, in an effort to bring clarity to the situation (or perhaps confuse you even more), let’s take a look at the five Eastern Conference playoff teams and the scenarios they find themselves in at the moment.

First thing’s first though. Let’s pray that Frank Klopas doesn’t wind up doing his best Jim Mora imitation on Saturday evening…

1) Sporting Kansas City (63 points, 18-7-9,  42 goals for)

The well-oiled soccer machine known as SKC locked up the East crown at home on Wednesday night vs. Philly Union. As the #1 seed, Peter Vermes and company will play the winner of the #4 vs. #5 elimination game, which #4 will host on Wednesday, October 31st. SKC will travel to the winner of the elimination game to play the first leg of the conference semifinal on Saturday, November 3rd, then turn around to host the second leg on Wednesday, November 7th.

2) DC United (57, 17-10-6, 52)

If they win or draw at Chicago this Saturday, they lock up second place and the #2 seed. If they lose, they’ll either finish 3rd or 4th, so Ben Olson and company know they’ll host at least one playoff game. Whether or not DC finish 3rd or 4th with a loss depends on what New York does at Philly – of which we’ll know the result by kickoff at Toyota Park on Saturday at 3pm cst.

  • Win or draw: As the #2 seed, they’ll travel to the #3 seed on Saturday, November 3rd, and turn around to host the second leg of the conference semifinal on Wednesday, November 7th.
  • Loss and a Red Bull loss or draw at Philly: DC will be the #3 seed, which will see them host the Fire on the 3rd, and head back to Chicago on the 7th.
  • Loss and a Red Bull win at Philly: Most likely, this will place DC in 4th on the goals for tiebreaker. They will then host the aforementioned elimination game on Halloween night.

3) Chicago Fire (56, 17-11-5, 45)

A win locks up second place and the #2 seed for the Men in Red. They will then travel to the #3 seed on Saturday, November 3rd, and return home to host the second leg of the conference semifinal on Wednesday, November 7th. A draw or loss poses a number of different scenarios:

  • Draw:
    • Red Bull loss or draw: Gives the Fire the #3 seed. They’ll host the first leg of the conference semifinal on November 3rd, and travel to DC on November 7th for the second leg.
    • Red Bull win: Forces the Men in Red into the elimination game on the goals for tiebreaker. The Fire will host this game as the #4 seed and Halloween will be scary indeed.
  • Loss: Oh boy. Here we go…
    • Red Bull win: Chicago gets #4 or #5 seed. The Houston game at Colorado on Saturday night will impact the Fire’s fate.
    • Houston loss or draw: Fire get #4 seed and host Houston in the elimination game at home on the 31st.
    • Houston win: Fire most likely get #5 seed due to the goals for tiebreaker. They will then travel to Houston for the elimination game.

4) New York Red Bulls (54, 15-9-9, 54)

The pink cows need a win to stay out of the elimination game. A loss or draw guarantees they’ll play on the 31st.

  • Win: Red Bull will probably finish 3rd. If DC loses, or Chicago loses or draws, NY will get 3rd on the goals for tiebreaker.
  • Draw: Secure #4 seed with a Houston draw or loss at Colorado. Will then host the elimination game on the 31st.
  • Loss: Secure #4 seed with a Houston draw (on tiebreaker) or loss and will host the elimination game. Drop to #5 seed if Houston wins at Colorado. Will then travel to Houston for the elimination game.

5) Houston Dynamo (53, 14-8-11, 48)

The most Dom Kinnear and his boys can hope to gain on Saturday at Colorado is the #3 seed. And they’ll know what they can and cannot do before kickoff. Let’s run through it…

  • Win: Secure #3 seed with Chicago loss (most likely, on tiebreaker) and a New York draw or loss. Would then host first leg of semifinal vs. DC on Saturday the 3rd, and travel to DC for leg two on Wednesday the 7th.
  • Draw or loss: #5 seed. Would travel to either Chicago, DC, or New York for the elimination game on the 31st, depending on others’ results.

So there you have it. Saturday promises to be tense to say the least. Keep your fingers and toes crossed folks…

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