Photo credit: Josh Umphrey, Getty Images
A reader recently asked me for the projected first-round matchups in the MLS playoffs should the current standings hold. That probably means there are other readers curious, so take a look:
1W (Los Angeles Galaxy) v. 4W (Seattle Sounders FC, wildcard)
2W (Real Salt Lake) v. 3W (FC Dallas, wildcard)
1E (New York Red Bulls) v. 4E* (Colorado Rapids, wildcard)
2E (Columbus Crew) v. 3E* (San Jose Earthquakes, wildcard)
* — Only two teams from each conference are guaranteed berths. Due to better records by the 5th and 6th teams in the West, they earn wildcard berths over the 3rd and 4th teams in the East.
If you look closely you’ll notice the last two teams into the field, presumably the weakest, are currently San Jose and Colorado. You’ll also notice that due to the league’s postseason set-up, those “weaker” teams would end up going through the “weaker” conference en route to the MLS Cup.
Elsewhere in the loaded West, the team with the best record (L.A.) is matched up against arguably the hottest team in the league (Seattle). A Salt Lake-Dallas pairing is also worthy of a final.
So does this make sense? Yes and no?
It’ll certainly be a hot button issue in the next few weeks. What do you think?