MLS Cup playoffs – Who can clinch, who has work and what’s at stake in Week 32

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Just some matches stay within the 2022 MLS season, and after a midweek slate of video games, the playoff image — together with the Golden Boot and MVP races — is beginning to grow to be clearer.

This is a take a look at what’s at stake from a playoff perspective on this weekend’s matchups.

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Saturday, Sept. 17

New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls

The Pink Bulls clinched a playoff spot this week and look destined to settle in at third place within the Japanese Convention. Issues are barely trickier for NYCFC in fourth place. They maintain a four-point lead over Orlando City SC within the standings, however the boys in purple have a sport in hand and can sq. off with NYCFC in Week 33. NYCFC beat Atlas on Wednesday night time within the Campeones Cup, so fatigue might be an element for the hosts on this derby.

Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Union

The Union lead the Supporters’ Protect race with 63 factors and are exhibiting no indicators of slowing down. Atlanta United acquired a large midweek win in Orlando and out of the blue are again within the combine for a playoff spot, simply two factors off seventh, however are chasing groups who all have a sport in hand. It is a must-win for the house aspect in opposition to arguably the league’s finest group.

New England Revolution vs. CF Montreal

There may be nonetheless some sand left within the Revs’ hourglass, however it’s beginning to skinny out. Sitting tenth within the East with 38 factors, three out of the playoff locations, New England have to be determined for a win, however judging by the Revs’ dismal show in Houston on Tuesday in a 3-1 loss, it is easy for followers to really feel pessimistic. Montreal has clinched a playoff spot and has all however sewn up second place within the Japanese Convention.

Orlando City SC vs. Toronto FC

Orlando Metropolis is fifth with 42 factors and may nonetheless run down NYCFC for fourth place and a house playoff sport in Spherical One. Three factors will be there for the taking in opposition to a Toronto FC aspect in thirteenth and requiring a miracle to succeed in the postseason.

Chicago Fire FC vs. Charlotte FC

Technically each are nonetheless alive, in eleventh and twelfth within the East, and Charlotte FC nonetheless has 4 video games to play reasonably than simply three, however with every sitting on 35 factors (six again of seventh) it is laborious seeing both win out and leapfrogging the groups in entrance of them.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United

It is too little, too late for Sporting Kansas Metropolis, who’ve gained two in a row however are nonetheless 9 factors again for the final spot within the West. Minnesota cannot clinch with a win, however a victory might push the Loons into fourth and a house playoff sport ought to Nashville stumble.

Austin FC vs. Nashville SC

Talking of, Nashville is fourth and only one level forward of Minnesota within the West, and now takes on an Austin FC aspect that clinched a playoff spot on Wednesday and is comfortably second within the convention. On this battle of America’s two music cities, there may be additionally an MVP and Golden Boot battle between Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar and Austin’s Sebastian Driussi. Mukhtar leads the scoring race with 22 objectives to Driussi’s 20, however there’s a sense that whoever can rating and emerge victorious right here will have the ability to seal MVP honors.

Real Salt Lake vs. FC Cincinnati

That is the final word “hanging on” sport. RSL are seventh within the West with 43 factors and making an attempt to fend off a Galaxy group three factors behind however with a sport in hand. Cincinnati is sixth out east with 42 factors however inside hanging vary of eighth-place Atlanta United and ninth-place Inter Miami. For each groups, a win would go a protracted option to securing a playoff spot; a loss can be damaging.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders FC

Vancouver’s playoff hopes are slim at finest sitting six factors again with three to go, however the Sounders are out of the blue inside 4 factors of a playoff spot with 4 video games to play. Their 2016 Houdini act that noticed them go from the cellar to MLS Cup champions was spectacular, but when they’ll attain the postseason this 12 months, it might be jaw-dropping. A win in Vancouver would edge them nearer to it.

LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids

The Galaxy had been abysmal midweek in a 3-0 loss in Vancouver and misplaced the possibility to equal seventh-place RSL within the desk. Three factors out of the playoff zone, however with a sport in hand, there must be urgency in Los Angeles. The Rapids are tenth with 39 factors, 4 again of seventh and with two groups in entrance of them who’ve a sport in hand. Postseason hopes look grim.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. FC Dallas

FC Dallas could make a return to the playoffs with a win in opposition to already-eliminated San Jose and dropped factors from Actual Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy. The Texans are on observe to host in first spherical.

Sunday, Sept. 18

Columbus Crew vs. Portland Timbers

An extended climate delay in Miami on Tuesday night time resulted in a loss for Columbus, leaving the Crew seventh with 41 factors, simply two above Inter in eighth. It would not get simpler on Sunday in opposition to the Timbers, who might simply leap into the highest 4 out west with a win or might be feeling the warmth of lacking the playoffs with a loss. It is a pivotal sport for each.

D.C. United vs. Inter Miami CF

It has been a yo-yo season for Inter Miami, however a win at last-place-and-eliminated D.C. United might see Phil Neville’s bunch finish the night time in a playoff place ought to Columbus slip up vs. Portland. This must be three factors for the guests in opposition to Wayne Rooney’s aspect.

LAFC vs. Houston Dynamo FC

LAFC have simply 4 factors from their previous six video games, however the leaders within the West are nonetheless within the Supporters’ Protect race with 61 factors, two behind Philly, and have all however clinched prime spot within the convention. Going up in opposition to eradicated Houston is the proper alternative to proper the ship.

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