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October 23, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Six teams, two MLS playoff spots left

See the league’s scenarios below. It’s a lot to take in so read slowly.
Colorado Rapids will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs IF:
– Colorado defeats Real Salt Lake on Saturday OR
– Colorado ties Real Salt Lake AND
The four teams on 39 points all lose or all tie OR IF
Only one of TOR, NE, DC and FCD win
– Note: If Colorado loses to Real Salt Lake, it hopes to do so by less than a two-goal margin and it hopes that less than two teams with 39 points win this week.
Real Salt Lake needs to defeat Colorado on Saturday and hope that no more than one of the teams on 39 points wins. Unless all four teams with 39 points lose, RSL need to defeat Colorado by more than a one-goal margin because a win leaves them tied on points and in head-to-head (1-1-1), so goal differential could decide their fate.
If two or more teams tied on 39 points win, or if two or more tie on 40 points along with RSL (in the case of an RSLwin), there are some concurrent results that will favor them based on tiebreakers. This is a brief overview of what will help each team:
D.C. United
If DC is the only team tied on 39 points to win, they will qualify
If DC wins and Colorado wins AND New England OR Toronto win, they cannot qualify (unless DAL, DC AND TOR win – decided by goal differential).
In the case of a tie on 40 points (RSL win, DC tie), DC will qualify ONLY if FC Dallas AND DC tie, or if DAL AND DC AND TOR tie
FC Dallas
If FC Dallas is the only team tied on 39 points to win, they will qualify.
If FC Dallas wins and Colorado wins, FC Dallas must hope that DC or New England do not win, as this lessens their chances.
In the case of a tie on 40 points (RSL win, DAL tie), FC Dallas must hope that DC does not also tie
New England Revolution
If New England is the only team tied on 39 points to win, they will qualify.
If New England wins and Colorado wins, New England must hope that Toronto does not also win (unless ONLY DAL and NE win).
If New England wins and Colorado loses or ties, the ONLY way New England will NOT qualify is if DAL AND NE AND TOR (ONLY) WIN.
In the case of a multiple tie on 40 points (RSL win, NE tie), New England must hope DC ALSO ties or TOR does not tie (unless all four on 39 tie).
Toronto FC
If Toronto is the only team tied on 39 points to win, they will qualify.
If Toronto wins and Colorado wins, TOR must hope FC Dallas does NOT win – unless ALL four teams on 39 points win (DAL AND DC AND NE AND TOR).
If Toronto wins and Colorado loses or ties, Toronto is all but assured of qualifying.
In the case of a multiple tie on 40 points (RSL win, TOR tie), TOR is all but assured of qualifying UNLESS DAL, NE AND TOR all tie.
Whew! Thank goodness Seattle is in already so as not to have to keep up with that.

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