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D.C. United hosts Columbus as full MLS playoff schedule announced – football news

Major League Soccer announced its 2018 playoff schedule on Sunday, following the final round of regular-season matches. 

D.C. United, led by the resurgent Wayne Rooney, earned the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and will host the fifth-seed Columbus Crew on Thursday at Audi Field in a knockout round game. 

Third-seeded New York City FC will host the six-seed Philadelphia Union on Wednesday in the East’s other knockout round match, with the winners of those two games set to face the New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United in the conference semifinals.

In the Western Conference, fourth-seed FC Dallas will host the fifth-seeded Portland Timbers on Wednesday, while third-seed Los Angeles FC hosts sixth-seed Real Salt Lake on Thursday. 

Those two winners will move on to the conference semifinal, where Sporting Kansas City and the Seattle Sounders await. 

The conference semifinals will take place over two legs, with games Nov. 4, Nov. 8 and Nov. 11.

Winners of the conference semifinals will face off in the two-leg conference finals on Nov. 25 and Nov. 29. Those two winners of those ties will take part in MLS Cup on Dec. 8, at the home of the team with the better regular season record. 

For the full MLS playoff bracket, click HERE. 

 

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Playoff places, seeding & Supporters’ Shield up for grabs on final day of MLS – football news

Eleven Major League Soccer matches will kick off simultaneously on Sunday, and every single one will have playoff implications riding on the result.

Some, like San Jose’s visit to Seattle, have only modest implications, while others, like Los Angeles FC’s trip to face Sporting Kansas City, will determine the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Then you have the Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy, two teams that can secure playoff spots with victories on Sunday. The Crew have stumbled late in the season, but face a very reasonable task, needing to beat Minnesota United to ensure their place in the postseason. The Galaxy also face a winnable home game against a Houston Dynamo side playing out the string.

The league’s two best teams won’t be facing each other on the field, but they’ll be competing all the same when Atlanta United and the New York Red Bulls take the field with the Supporters’ Shield in their sights. Both teams could break the MLS records for points in a season, but only Atlanta can grab the shield and top seed in the MLS playoffs with a win.

Here are the key things to watch for this weekend in MLS:


More than playoffs on the line for Crew, Berhalter


Gregg Berhalter Columbus Crew MLS

Columbus Crew fans will have their first chance to cheer their team on since news came out that new owners had emerged to help potentially keep the Crew in Columbus. Those fans will converge on MAPFRE Stadium hoping to urge the Crew on as they try to save their season.

A win over Minnesota United ensures a playoff place for the Crew, while a a draw or loss would open the door for the Montreal Impact to leapfrog them in the East standings with a win at New England.

The Crew have hit a slump at the worst possible time, managing just one win in six matches to slide from fourth place to trying desperately to hold on to sixth place.

That late-season slide has also thrust Gregg Berhalter into the spotlight. Berhalter has been the frontrunner for the U.S. national team head coach position for months, but that candidacy will look highly questionable if the Crew fail to reach the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Luckily for the Crew, they are facing a Minnesota United side that has the worst road record in MLS (1-13-2).


Can NYCFC stop the Union and halt slide?


David Villa NYCFC 05132018

When Domenec Torrent replaced Patrick Vieira as New York City FC head coach during the summer, he began his MLS tenure winning five of six matches, and looked like the ideal replacement for Vieira.

Things have turned sour since that promising start, with NYCFC having won just two of its past 12 matches. That slide has led to NYCFC going from contending for a top two spot in the East to now being in jeopardy of sliding all the way to fifth and playing on the road in a knockout round match.

NYCFC can still salvage its hold on third place in the East, but must beat a Philadelphia Union side that is 7-2-2 in their past 11 matches. The Union are coming off a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls, but they gave the Red Bulls a tough test and will head to Yankee Stadium with the confidence gleaned from settling a new team record for points in a season.

If the Union beat NYCFC, they would secure third place in the East and would host a knockout round match. A loss could drop the Union all the way to sixth place, meaning a road trip for their first playoff match.


Sporting KC and LAFC battle for first in West


Johnny Russell Sporting KC 10272018

Sporting Kansas City and Los Angeles FC have both been building serious momentum in recent months, and now will square off with the top seed in the West playoffs in their sights.

Sporting KC has marched to first place in the West with an 8-2-2 record down the stretch, capped by last week’s big road win at FC Dallas. Up next is a home match against an LAFC squad that has turned on its own hot streak, suffering just one lost in its past 10 matches. Bob Bradley’s squad has coped with the departure of central defender Laurent Ciman, The LAFC defense has held its own, but the attack has been the driving force behind the expansion team’s surge.

A road win would give LAFC the top seed in the West, while a draw or loss would likely force LAFC into third place, and a knockout round match, unless FC Dallas stumbles against the Colorado Rapids.


Galaxy must be careful with dangerous Dynamo


Zlatan Ibrahimovic MLS LA Galaxy 04142018

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s heroics have been a big reason for the LA Galaxy’s climb back into the playoff race, but it has been the improvement of the Galaxy’s defense that has pushed them to the brink of a return to the playoffs.

The Galaxy have gone four straight matches without allowing multiple goals, surrendering just two goals during a 3-0-1 surge that has them on the verge of snatching sixth place and a playoff berth away from Real Salt Lake. Interim head coach Dom Kinnear has helped solidify things defensively, settling on the American center back tandem of David Romney and Daniel Steres, with Jonathan Dos Santos and Sebastian Lletget working in central midfield.

The Galaxy must defeat the Dynamo on Sunday and on the surface that seems a simple enough task. The Dynamo haven’t won a road game since May, and have nothing to play for. That said, Houston still has a dangerous attack and has scored multiple goals in three of its past four matches.

The attacking trio of Mauro Manotas, Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto will be a handful for the Galaxy to handle, but their defensive improvements and recent attacking form should give the Galaxy a very good chance of holding off the Dynamo and securing their place in the playoffs.


Supporters’ Shield still up for grabs


Atlanta United Toronto FC MLS 10222018

Toronto FC shattered the MLS record for points in a season a year ago, and on Sunday the reigning MLS champion will do its best to keep Atlanta United from breaking that record at BMO Field.

Atlanta United can secure the Supporters’ Shield with a victory in Toronto, but must do so without injured star Miguel Almiron. The Five Stripes will take on a TFC side finishing up a forgettable season, but with the weapons to play the spoiler role perfectly. Jozy Altidore is out, but Sebastian Giovinco will lead a TFC attack that will try to give their fans a consolation win to close out the season.

A TFC victory could also wind up being a dream gift for the New York Red Bulls, who are poised to snatch the Supporters’ Shield away from Atlanta United if TFC can pull the upset. The Red Bulls face lowly Orlando City, and will look to add to their league-best total of 13 home wins. The Lions have shown they can play the spoiler, knocking off the Columbus Crew last week, but beating the struggling Crew at home is a far different task than trying to become the first road team to win at Red Bull Arena since July.

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Playoff spots on the line in the penultimate week of the MLS season – football news

Major League Soccer likes to promote the final day of the regular season as Decision Day, but we could see all 12 playoff spots secured after this weekend’s action, a full week ahead of time.

Seven teams are alive for the four unclaimed playoff spots, and two of those teams would require some serious late collapses to lose out on the postseason.

The Columbus Crew and Portland Timbers are comfortably above the playoff lines, with the Crew needing just one win or two draws to ensure a return to the postseason. The Timbers need just a draw in either of their two matches to secure a berth, but Giovanni Savarese’s side has its sights set on trying to pass rival Seattle in the standings to earn home-field in a potential Cascadia Derby playoff clash.

Wayne Rooney has helped D.C. United complete an incredible climb from last place in the East to a playoff position, but it will take one more win to ensure a return to the postseason for D.C. for the first time since 2015. D.C. is four points clear of Montreal for the final playoff spot in the East, and could still make a late run for a home playoff game if it can continue its torrid form.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is hoping to help the LA Galaxy to a similar late-season run into the playoffs, but the Galaxy will need some help to get to the postseason. The Galaxy must win both of their remaining games and hope that Real Salt Lake doesn’t beat Portland this weekend in its final regular season match.

There is plenty more on the line this weekend, from the Supporters’ Shield, to home-field advantage in the knockout rounds, as well as the precious first-round byes now in play in the Western Conference. Adding to the suspense is the fact all Eastern Conference matches will be played at the same time on Sunday, with the full slate of Western Conference matches taking place two hours later.

Here are the key things to watch for this weekend in MLS:


D.C. United eyeing more than a playoff spot


Wayne Rooney D.C. United MLS 2018

When Wayne Rooney arrived in MLS three months ago, few would have envisioned the English star helping D.C. climb all the way into a playoff spot. An 11-4-3 record since Rooney’s arrival has not only helped D.C. climb into a playoff position, but now there’s a chance the club could move as high as fourth place in the East.

Unbeaten in eight matches, D.C. United faces a struggling New York City FC side that has just one win in eight, and suddenly has a shaky hold on third place in the East. A loss to D.C. United could leave NYCFC heading into its season finale against the Philadelphia Union needing a result to ensure a home playoff game in the knockout round. There is even a worst-case scenario that could see NYCFC fall all the way to sixth place by the end of the regular season, if the Union, Columbus Crew and D.C. United win out.

The Montreal Impact need two wins and with have to hope that D.C. doesn’t win either of its remaining matches to sneak into the playoffs, but given how well D.C. United is playing right now, it’s tough to see Ben Olsen’s side slowing down.


RSL’s kids hoping to deny Zlatan’s Galaxy


Real Salt Lake is the only MLS team that won’t be playing on the final day, meaning its trip to Portland on Sunday is its final chance to ensure a playoff berth. A win would lock up RSL’s postseason berth, but beating the Timbers at Providence Park is no easy task, certainly not for an RSL side that has been terrible on the road this season (3-10-3).

If the Timbers beat RSL, or even earn a draw, that suddenly gives life to the Galaxy, currently four points behind RSL for the final playoff spot. The Galaxy have winnable games remaining against Minnesota United and the Houston Dynamo, and have racked up seven points in their past three matches.

Ibrahimovic is expected to make his first start of the season on artificial turf. The Swedish star has avoided playing on fake grass in all but one instance this year, even skipping the MLS All-Star Game in the process, in order to keep from having to risk re-injuring his surgically-repaired right knee. He has recorded at least one goal or assist in six straight matches, and the Galaxy are going to need him to ensure a win against a Loons side that has been much better at home than on the road.


West powers FC Dallas and Sporting KC collide


The top two teams in the Western Conference square off, and things are so tight atop the West that the loser of the match could find itself tumbling multiple spots in the standings.

FC Dallas has held onto first place since the summer, but a loss to Sporting KC could see Oscar Pareja’s men slip all the way to third, out of the spots with first-round byes. Sporting KC will try to become just the second visiting team to win at Toyota Stadium this year, knowing that a loss could drop SKC as far as fourth place. With a trip to lowly Colorado waiting at the end of the season, FC Dallas surely knows that a win on Sunday would all but ensure the top seed in the West, and Dallas should have an edge against a Sporting KC side that is coming off a mid-week trip to Vancouver (albeit a match SKC won).

Los Angeles FC will be hoping to capitalize on whatever outcome takes place at Toyota Stadium. If Bob Bradley’s squad can beat the Vancouver Whitecaps at home, as expected, then the expansion team would be guaranteed to move into one of the top two spots in the West, and could even jump into first place if FCD and SKC tie.

Making things even more interesting is the fact LAFC travels to Sporting KC for the regular season finale.


Supporters’ Shield race a tight one


Josef Martinez Atlanta United MLS August 6 2018

Atlanta United has the edge in the Supporters’ Shield race heading into the final two weekends, but it is far from a straightforward path to the second-year team’s first piece of silverware. 

Miguel Almiron is sidelined by injury, as is Hector Villalba, leaving the Five Stripes without two of their most dangerous weapons. The Chicago Fire have been atrocious on the road this year and aren’t likely to be able to stop Atlanta’s attack, even short-handed, though Ezequiel Barco and Julian Gressel will need to provide Josef Martinez with some service to ensure Atlanta United maintains its one-point lead on the New York Red Bulls in the Supporters’ Shield race.

The Red Bulls have to assume Atlanta is going to win at home, making the trip to Philadelphia a must-win to keep the club’s hopes of a third Supporters’ Shield in six seasons alive. The Union are standing in the way, and are riding a 7-1-2 run in their past 10 matches. They have also made things tough for the Red Bulls, who have managed to win just one of their past four meetings against the Union. While that may be the case, the Red Bulls have had the look of a championship team in recent weeks, and will be looking to send a message to a Union side they could very well wind up seeing again in the playoffs.


Wondo Watch


Chris Wondolowski San Jose Earthquakes MLS 2018

Article continues below

The San Jose Earthquakes and Colorado Rapids have been two of the worst teams in MLS this season, but there could still be historical significance when they square off at Avaya Stadium, what with Chris Wondoloski needing two goals to break Landon Donovan’s record for career MLS goals.

Wondolowski’s hunt for the record has been the lone bright spot in San Jose’s abysmal season — at least until Matias Almeyda’s hiring as head coach for 2019 — and interim coach Steve Ralston has made sure to give Wondolowski his chance to make a real run at the record.

The Earthquakes have lost six straight, but Wondolowski has scored goals in his past two matches to give him 10 on the season and a chance of catching Donovan. He didn’t start against the Red Bulls, but you have to think Ralston will start him against a Rapids side that has had one of the league’s worst defenses this year. The Earthquakes close out the season with a trip to Seattle, which has allowed the fewest goals in the league this year, meaning Sunday will be Wondolowski’s most realistic chance to catch or potentially pass Donovan and become the new MLS goal-scoring king. 

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‘Mourinho’s critics are jealous’ – Ibrahimovic backs under-fire Man Utd boss – football news

Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes criticism of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has become “personal”, with those quick to write the Portuguese off merely jealous of his achievements.

A proven winner throughout a distinguished coaching career, the man at the Old Trafford helm has faced some uncomfortable questions this season.

With his side struggling for consistency and talk of dressing room divides providing an unwelcome distraction, Mourinho is having to fight fires on and off the field.

He has offered no indication that he will be running away from those challenges, with there a desire on his part to oversee a reversal in fortune.

Ibrahimovic, who has worked with the Portuguese at Inter and United, believes Mourinho remains the right man for the job, telling Sky Sports: “Everybody criticises Mourinho and I don’t think it’s because of the results, it’s because of the character, because of the way he is.

“I see myself a little bit in that situation because we have our vision, we have our confidence, we believe in things, we say certain things in our own way and of course we get the blame.

“We get criticised more when it’s not going good. But when it’s going good and we win, the satisfaction is bigger than the other ones.

“We are ourselves, we believe in what we do and we do it until the end. That is what is going on there.

“Some critics I feel are personal. Some critics are exaggerating. Some because of the one he is, other ones are jealousy.

“All of this is part of the circle, so Mourinho has to just keep being himself, stand up for what he is doing, stand up for who he is and continue.

“He is there because he did it his own way, because he is who he is and won’t change for nobody. I am the same. The people out there who think they are perfect, they are the biggest problem.”

Wayne Rooney D.C. United MLS 2018

Ibrahimovic has also saluted another man with strong ties to United, with the Red Devils’ all-time leading goalscorer currently shining away from Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney joined the MLS ranks at D.C. United over the summer and has helped to fire them into play-off contention.

Article continues below

Ibrahimovic, who is also in America with the LA Galaxy, said of the former England international: “I think so far he did fantastic, he changed the team he came to and they have done good results.

“Before he came it was different results, but he has been playing good and scoring goals and he shows that he is Rooney.

“I don’t need to describe Rooney. Everybody knows Rooney and they know his quality, so it’s only for him to play the games and perform.”

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MLS Playoffs: How Portland and Seattle can clinch postseason spots midweek – football news

The MLS playoffs are fast approaching, with seven teams having already booked spots in the postseason heading into the midweek slate of action. 

Two teams will have a chance to punch their tickets this on Wednesday night, while defending champion Toronto FC will be looking to play spoiler against D.C. United. 

You can check out the full league standings and an explanation of how the playoffs work here, and check below to see which teams are in, which teams are out, and how Wednesday could impact the playoff picture.  


Eastern Conference


ALREADY IN

Atlanta United – Clinched a top-two finish in the East and a first-round bye

New York Red Bulls – Clinched a top-two finish in the East and a first-round bye

New York City FC – Clinched 2018 MLS Cup playoff place

Philadelphia Union – Clinched 2018 MLS Cup playoff place

SILL IN THE HUNT

Columbus Crew –  Fifth in the East on 48 points through 32 matches

D.C. United – Sixth in the East on 44 points through 31 matches. At home vs Toronto FC on Wednesday

Montreal Impact – Seventh in the East on   43 points through  32 matches

ALREADY OUT

Chicago Fire  

Toronto FC

New England Revolution

Orlando City 


Western Conference


ALREADY IN

FC Dallas – The Hoops were the first team in the West to clinch a playoff spot. 

LAFC  – The expansion side is in and still in position to finish top in the West. 

Sporting Kansas City  – In action Wednesday against the Vancouver Whitecaps as they fight for top spot in the West. 

COULD GET IN MIDWEEK

Portland Timbers – Despite not being in action the Timbers could clinch midweek. They will need a loss or a draw from the Vancouver Whitecaps against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday and a Real Salt Lake loss or draw against the New England Revolution on Thursday. 

Seattle Sounders – The Sounders need a win or a draw against Orlando City on Wednesday to clinch. Barring that, the Sounders will be in the same boat as the Timbers, needing a loss or a draw from the Vancouver Whitecaps against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday and a Real Salt Lake loss or draw against the New England Revolution on Thursday. 

STILL IN THE HUNT

Real Salt Lake – Sixth in the West on 46 points through 32 matches. In action Thursday against the New England Revolution. 

LA Galaxy – Seventh in the West on 45 points through 32 matches. Not in action midweek. 

Vancouver Whitecaps – Eighth in the West on 43 points through 31 matches. In action against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday. 

ALREADY OUT

Colorado Rapids 

Article continues below

San Jose Earthquakes   

Minnesota United  

Houston Dynamo

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MLS Review: LAFC, Philly and SKC all earn playoff spots – football news

A trio of teams booked their spots in the MLS playoffs on Saturday as LAFC, the Philadelphia Union and Sporting KC picked up victories to lock up postseason berths.

LAFC became the fifth expansion team to seal postseason soccer thanks to a 3-0 victory over the lowly Colorado Rapids. The match was headlined by a brace from Adama Diomande, who followed up on a goal from Walker Zimmerman to officially clinch a spot in the postseason.

The victory has LAFC sitting third in the Western Conference, ahead of the Portland Timbers, who picked up a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake to move closer to clinching their own spot. The Timbers’ win keeps the team in fourth place.

Sporting KC, meanwhile, sealed their spot in the postseason once again thanks to a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored from the penalty spot in the 25th minute, but the Galaxy could not hold on as Johnny Russell scored with seven minutes remaining to earn Sporting KC a point.

Peter Vermes’ team has now made the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons while the Galaxy are currently miss out for the second year running as they chase Real Salt Lake, the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers for the final three spots.

In the Eastern Conference, the Union will be a part of the playoffs for the third time in club history thanks to a 5-1 beatdown of Minnesota United.

The Union battered the Loons early and often with Corey Burke opening the scoring eight minutes in.

Alejandro Bedoya added a second in the 23rd minute before Fafa Picault, recently added to the U.S. national team roster, scored a brace before halftime. Darwin Quintero pulled one back for the visiting Loons, but Ilsinho put an exclamation point on the win for the hosts.

While three teams confirmed playoff soccer, the reigning champion, Toronto FC, was eliminated from postseason contention following a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. A fourth-minute goal from Russell Teibert put TFC in an early hole, but Jozy Altidore brought the Canadian side back from the penalty spot in the 73rd. Five minutes later, the Whitecaps were back in the lead for good on a finish from Kei Kamara.

Eastern Conference leader Atlanta United kept rolling with a 2-1 win over the struggling New England Revolution. However, it may have come at a price as Miguel Almiron suffered an injury that could keep him out of action through the last few weeks of the regular season.

FC Dallas also kept it rolling via a win over struggling opposition in a 2-0 victory over Orlando City behind goals from Santiago Mosquera and Victor Ulloa. FC Dallas remains atop the West, four points ahead of Sporting KC, while Orlando City has collected just six points since May 6.

The Montreal Impact took a step towards a playoff berth of their own with a 3-0 win over the Columbus Crew. The win keeps the Impact in sixth-place, good for the final playoff spot, although they remain five points behind the Crew and five points ahead of D.C. United, who have three matches in hand.

In the final match of the evening, the New York Red Bulls stayed on Atlanta’s heels with a 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, who remain dead last in the West. Alex Muyl and Bradley Wright-Phillips provided the first half goals while Aaron Long scored after halftime as the Red Bulls collected a third consecutive win.

There was a bit of silver lining for the Quakes, though, as Chris Wondolowski pulled one goal closer to Landon Donovan’s all-time recor with an 83rd minute consolation finish.

Article continues below

The strike was Wondolowski’s 144th career MLS goal, and leaves him just one shy of Donovan’s all-time mark. 

The 35-year-old will have two more matches this season to catch Donovan, with the Earthquakes set to take on the Colorado Rapids and the Seattle Sounders to close out the campaign. 

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MLS Playoffs: Tables, fixtures, winners & results – football news

The regular season of Major League Soccer is nearing its close, though the fun doesn’t stop there. The post season follows directly after, culminating in the MLS Cup in December.

Newcomer LAFC has done well to maintain a top-half berth of the Western Conference, while rivals New York City FC and New York Red Bulls are in the tight race that will decide who wins the Eastern Conference alongside Atlanta United. 

GBP Sports takes a look the Major League Soccer playoffs, how it works and all the fixtures and results.


What are the MLS playoffs?


The MLS playoffs are the post-season elimination phase of the league that takes place from October through December.

Twelve teams – six each from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference – qualify for the tournament based on regular-season records, and a tie-breaking process is taken into account if needed.

The top-placed teams from the Eastern and Western Conference face each other in the knockout phases, with one from each conference earning a spot in the MLS Cup final.

The nature of the MLS Cup is different to other leagues, in which the winner of the competition is determined by the team that has accumulated the most points by the end of the season. 

MLS, however, awards the regular season champion with the Supporters’ Shield and direct entry into the CONCACAF Champions League – the regional club championship tournament.

Round Date
Knockout round October 31 – November 1
Conference semifinals November 4 – November 11
Conference championships November 25 – 29
MLS Cup December 8

How do the MLS playoffs and MLS Cup work?


Aaron Long Zlatan Ibrahimovic LA Galaxy NY Red Bulls 2018

During the 2018 MLS season, each side will play 34 games, including 17 home games and 17 away games. Teams face each team in their conference (10 in the Eastern Conference, and 11 in the West) twice during the season in a home and away format. 

Western Conference sides play an additional intra-conference game while Eastern Conference teams play two, with all teams facing each non-conference opponent once.

Qualification for the MLS postseason (which culminates in the MLS Cup in December) follows the same format that was introduced in 2015 – with the top six teams in both the Eastern and Western Conferences qualifying.

The MLS Cup playoffs begin with a knockout round following the final game of the season on October 28 (dubbed ‘Decision Day’), which consist of four single-game elimination matches to be played between October 31 to November 1.

Following the end of the knockout round, the Eastern and Western Conference semifinal series (taking place on November 4 and 11) will take place – with four games played on each of the match dates.

Only four teams (two from each conference) will progress through to the Conference finals, which will take place on November 25 and November 29. Two games will be played taking into account the aggregate score, which will decide the 2018 MLS Cup finalists.

The 2018 MLS Cup, taking place on December 8, will be played at the home stadium of the finalist sporting the best regular-season record.


MLS 2018 standings


 


MLS 2018 fixtures


 


MLS Cup past winners


Toronto FC MLS Cup 2017

Article continues below

Toronto FC is the MLS Cup defending champion after winning the final in 2017, beating the Seattle Sounders on home turf of BMO Field to become the very first Canadian team to win both the Cup and the Shield.

Toronto’s win of the Canadian Championship in the same year also handed the club the first domestic treble earned by an MLS Side.

The Seattle Sounders were the winners of MLS Cup in 2016, the LA Galaxy, the record five-time champions, have not lifted the trophy since 2014.

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MLS Playoffs: Which teams can clinch postseason berths this weekend? – football news

The MLS playoffs are fast approaching, with four teams having already booked spots in the postseason heading into a busy weekend of action across the league. 

Six teams will have a chance to punch their tickets this weekend, while four others could see any hopes of making the playoffs come to an end. 

You can check out the full league standings and an explanation of how the playoffs work here, and check below to see which teams are in, which teams are out, and how this weekend could impact the playoff picture.  


Eastern Conference


ALREADY IN

Atlanta United – Clinched a top-two finish in the East and a first-round bye

New York Red Bulls – Clinched a top-two finish in the East and a first-round bye

New York City FC – Clinched 2018 MLS Cup playoff place

COULD GET IN THIS WEEKEND

Columbus Crew – A win or tie against the Montreal Impact will earn Columbus a playoff place

Philadelphia Union – A win over Minnesota United would get the Union in, while a draw would leave the club needing a win or a draw from the Montreal Impact to clinch this weekend. 

COULD BE OUT THIS WEEKEND

Orlando City – Will be out of playoff contention with a loss or a draw against FC Dallas this weekend. A win for the Montreal Impact, New England Revolution or D.C. United would also end Orlando’s playoff hopes, while a draw in the Impact-Crew matchup would also see the Lions bounced. 

Toronto FC – The defending champs could be out of contention with a loss or a draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps, but only if the Montreal Impact beat the Columbus Crew. 

ALREADY OUT

Chicago Fire – The Fire are the only team in the East with no chance of making the playoffs


Western Conference


ALREADY IN

FC Dallas –  The Hoops are the only team in the West to have already clinched a playoff spot. 

COULD GET IN THIS WEEKEND (OR MONDAY)

LAFC – A win over the Colorado Rapids gets the expansion side a spot in the playoffs. After that, it gets more complicated. If LAFC works out a draw with the Rapids, the club would need a loss from the LA Galaxy and either a loss or tie from the Montreal Impact or a draw in the match between the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake. 

Portland Timbers – The Timbers need a win and some help to get in. Should Portland pick up three points, a loss for the Galaxy coupled with a draw or loss for Vancouver would lock up a playoff spot. 

Seattle Sounders – The Sounders need to win on Monday and will know by then if a win will get the job done. Their result will need to be coupled with a Galaxy loss and either a loss or tie from Vancouver or a draw between Portland and RSL. 

Sporting Kansas City – A win or a draw against the Galaxy would do the trick for SKC, but Sporting can lock up a playoff spot with a Whitecaps loss coupled with a draw between the Timbers and SKC no matter what the result in their match with the Galaxy. 

COULD BE OUT THIS WEEKEND

Houston Dynamo – A loss to Seattle would end the Dynamo’s hopes of making the playoffs, while a Portland loss to RSL would also put Houston out. 

Minnesota United – A loss to the Philadelphia Union would knock Minnesota out of playoff contention, but a draw against the Union could also end their chances if either Real Salt Lake or the LA Galaxy win.

Article continues below

ALREADY OUT

Colorado Rapids – The Rapids have been eliminated from playoff contention in the West.

San Jose Earthquakes – Chris Wondolowski is chasing the MLS all-time scoring mark, but the Earthquakes will not be in the playoffs this season. 

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Ibrahimovic sees ‘bright future’ for Bayern-bound Davies – football news

Zlatan Ibrahimovic sees a bright future ahead for Bayern Munich-bound teenager Alphonso Davies, but advised the winger to make sure he does not show “too much respect” to the big stars.

The 17-year-old agreed to move to Germany after the Bavarian side reached a £10 million ($13.5m) deal with Vancouver Whitecaps that has been tipped as a “bargain” by former Canada coach Octavio Zambrano.

Davies has already made 78 first-team appearances for the Whitecaps but will join his new team-mates in January after the MLS season comes to an end.

And, after coming up against the Ghanaian-born attacker during LA Galaxy’s 3-0 win over the Canadians, Ibrahimovic is convinced he will fit in well at a top club like Bayern.

“If he goes to Bayern, he must be a good player, because the club does not bring bad young footballers,” Ibrahimovic told reporters after the game. “At a club like Bayern, he will learn a lot, if they have seen something in him, then something big.

“I just hope he’s ready when he goes to Bayern, because when he gets there he’ll be lonely and it will be competitive, so he has to be mentally strong.

“If he sees the big players, he should not show too much respect. You go there for one reason: You’re part of the team. It’s up to him to do the rest. I see a bright future!”

Article continues below

The Swedish striker is not the only one to highlight the Canada international’s quality, as Bayern boss Niko Kovac is well aware of what is coming his way in January.

“He’s very young, and he’s very talented. Lots of clubs want to have him,” he said recently. “He’s a young player, and young players, when they are as good as him, are very expensive because a lot of clubs are interested in him – and I’m sure because a lot of clubs are interested in him the price might go up.

“He’s very fast, he’s very talented, he’s very good. I believe he has a very big future if he gets the right training.”

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Thomas

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Sasan

Gbpsports

Perfect app to watch live channels in HD quality

Reza

No commitment and no credit card binding

The subscription is a new way which relying on a simple activation code, no commitment and no credit card binding. Live streaming is fast and clear.

Kcdtran

Quality is Amazing

Just subscribed and tried, I gotta say the streaming quality is amazing! Very clear and no delay at all. I watched Man United match last Sunday, fatanstic video quality and I really enjoyed with my friend, great work and keep it up!

David

Plenty of stuff

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Cialis

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Kelvin m.

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Diego Salomon

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MLS Review: Zlatan hits 20th, Dallas clinches playoff place – football news

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was at it again for the LA Galaxy on Saturday, scoring twice to hit the 20-goal mark on the season and lead his side to a 3-0 win over the struggling Vancouver Whitecaps. 

Ibrahimovic opened the scoring from the penalty spot inside the opening five minutes and doubled his side’s lead just before the hour mark.

And while the former Manchester United star didn’t finish off his hat trick, he won a penalty late on that was put away by Romain Alessandrini to round out the scoring and leave the Galaxy just one point back of the playoff places in the Western Conference. 

Ibrahimovic wasn’t the only former Manchester United star scoring in MLS on Saturday, with Wayne Rooney netting two goals of his own as D.C. United earned an impressive, and vital, 5-0 win over the Montreal Impact. 

Luciano Acosta opened the scoring for United, with Rooney’s double coming either side of two goals from Paul Arriola as the home side strolled to the win. 

The result leaves D.C. just two points back of the Impact and final playoff place in the East, with United holding two games in hand. 

Toronto FC stayed alive in the playoff hunt as well, taking a 4-1 win over the New England Revolution. The defending MLS champion will still need some help to earn a place in the postseason, but survived to fight another day. 

For FC Dallas there are no such worries, with the Texas club locking up a playoff spot with a 0-0 draw against the Portland Timbers on Saturday. 

That result, coupled with Seattle’s 4-0 win over the Colorado Rapids, did do some harm for the Houston Dynamo. Despite taking a 3-2 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday the Dynamo could be knocked out the playoffs on Sunday should Real Salt Lake beat Sporting Kansas City. 

The San Jose loss was also notable for Chris Wondolowski’s goal, scored from the penalty spot, which ran his career MLS total to 143, leaving him just two shy of Landon Donovan’s all-time mark. 

LAFC took a tough 3-1 loss to the lowly Chicago Fire, denting the expansion club’s prospects of finishing in the top two places in the Western Conference.

Bob Bradley’s side sit four points back of West leader FC Dallas and could end the weekend four back of SKC as well. 

Article continues below

The top two places in the Eastern Conference were also decided on Saturday when New York City FC fell to Minnesota United. 

The loss cliched a playoff bye for the New York Red Bulls, who will fight it out with Atlanta United for the top spot in the conference starting with tomorrow’s showdown between the two at Red Bull Arena.

For Philadelphia and Columbus, a 0-0 draw gave both clubs a point but means that neither will end the weekend assured of a playoff place.  

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Thomas

Live Sport channels

Sports and lots of other channels HD quality No bugs No spam Easy to change channels No credit card for trial —————————— 100% Recommended

Sasan

Gbpsports

Perfect app to watch live channels in HD quality

Reza

No commitment and no credit card binding

The subscription is a new way which relying on a simple activation code, no commitment and no credit card binding. Live streaming is fast and clear.

Kcdtran

Quality is Amazing

Just subscribed and tried, I gotta say the streaming quality is amazing! Very clear and no delay at all. I watched Man United match last Sunday, fatanstic video quality and I really enjoyed with my friend, great work and keep it up!

David

Plenty of stuff

Many thanks! Plenty of stuff.

Cialis

I love the app

I love the app interface so simple and straight forward to use. The content is High Definition and finally the services are affordable.

Kelvin m.

Incredible

Incredible good service

Diego Salomon

Quality was excellent

Quality was excellent !

Thomas